• +233(0)30 274 0190
  • info@wagpco.com
  • Codemm House, Nii Nortei Nyanchi Street, West Airport. P.O.Box OS458, Osu Accra, Ghana.

Damage Prevention Program

The West African Gas Pipeline suffered two main line breaches offshore since its inception, first offshore Cotonou in 2007 due, apparently, to damage by a ship's anchor. The second breach took place offshore Lome in 2012. This was also caused by the Tanker MT ENERGY CENTURION which was boarded and hijacked by a gang of criminals at the Lome anchorage and forced to sail into deeper waters without allowing the vessel to weigh anchor. In the process the vessel drag her anchor across the pipeline severing it into two. It took WAPCo about eight months to return the line into full operation.

Since the launch of its damage prevention programme, WAPCo in conjunction with its regulator, the WAGPA, continues to analyze and review the risk of damage to the pipeline and improve the risk mitigation measures to prevent future damage to the pipeline.

WAPCo with the support of WAGPA conducts safety awareness campaigns across the sub-region for marine communities on safety and security precautions for safe gas transportation.

WAPCo’s awareness campaign is well established in the 4 main ports on the pipeline route. All Port and Naval officials are aware of the pipeline and the need to ensure it is protected from marine damage. The campaign is also a continuous process which serves to remind inhabitants of the coastal communities especially fisher folks of the need to avoid practices that may be inimical the pipeline.

There is currently the WAGP Standing Safety Committee, whose membership comprises representatives of the 4 WAGP states”

WAPCo has additionally trenched the two branches of pipeline into Togo and Benin under the sea bed that were recognized as vulnerable pipeline sections. In conjunction with WAGP Authority Regulations, and as part of the risk mitigation measures a one nautical mile Exclusion Zone either side of the pipeline known as Pipeline Protection Zone (PPZ) has been adopted across the four countries to minimize the chances of causing damage to the pipeline. This zone and the pipeline are published in Admiralty charts especially Chart Number 1383 and 1384 which all mariners are encouraged to consult when operating within the West Coast of Africa. Special marker buoys equipped with AIS transmitters and MMSI numbers that were installed at selected sections of the pipeline where shipping traffic is relatively heavy such as close to the ports of Takoradi, Tema, Lome, Cotonou and the Benin/Nigeria frontier are being replaced by virtual buoys. The physical buoys have suffered irreparable damage due to wrong usage by seafarers and hence the need for their replacement.

Activities which constitute potential risk to offshore pipeline damage and which are strictly forbidden within the PPZ include but not limited to:

  • Anchoring
  • Bottom Trawling 
  • Ship Anchor Drag and trawl board impact.
  • Illegal Fishing Methods such as use of dynamite
  • Construction
  • Mining including sand winning
  • Any activity that risk the chance of making physical contact with the sea bed within the zone and involves a risk of damaging the pipeline.
In line with our offshore pipeline safety requirements, WAGPA and WAPCo deem it important that the maritime community is made aware of the inherent dangers to human lives and property as well as the safety of the pipeline, should there be any violation of the identified safety precautions.
Mariners are particularly advised not to anchor or trawl within the PPZ as gas from a damaged pipeline could cause an explosion, loss of vessel buoyancy or other serious hazards. It must also be noted that the main pipeline is not buried and it may reduce charted depths by up to 2 meters especially at the Tees where the valves are encaged.

The pipeline has also spanned seabed undulations and may cause fishing gear to become irrecoverably snagged putting a vessel in severe danger. Mariners are further encouraged to report any unusual observations to the various Maritime Authorities, Ports and Harbours Authorities, or Navies of the 4 affected countries.

To report irregularities, encroachment or damage to any part of the pipeline,  Right of Ways (RoW) or the Pipeline Protection Zone (PPZ) offshore, kindly reach the WAPCo Marine Manager on +233 244 338 615. You can also reach our Operations Rooms as follows: Accra (Head Quarters): +233 244338459,    Takoradi: + 233 244338495/6,    Tema: +233 244338454,   Lome: +228 9092 5858,
Cotonou: +229 9797 8151,   Lagos Beach Compressor Station (LBCS): +234 7034 111 034,   Itoki: +234 7034 111 035, 

 MTN Tollfree: 054-0110000