The West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited (WAPCo), the Operator of the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) has in consultation with its stakeholders in Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria decided to embark on a cleaning and inspection exercise of its offshore pipeline often referred to as “pigging” in the pipeline industry.
Pigging is intended to protect the integrity of WAPCo’s offshore pipeline system which is the main critical asset of the company, transporting natural gas within the four West African States of Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ghana. The exercise will start on January 20, and end by March 21, 2020 or sooner.
Pigging of the pipeline will involve cleaning and inspection of the pipeline as well as data gathering. The “pig” will be launched from our Lagos Beach Compressor Station (LBCS) in Badagry, Nigeria and received at our Takoradi Regulating & Metering Station (R&MS) in Ghana.
As a result of this exercise, reverse flow of gas from Takoradi to Tema as well as the supply of gas to our facilities in Tema, Lomé and Cotonou will be curtailed. Apart from cleaning the pipeline of debris, pigging will provide information on the condition of the pipeline to inform decisions on effective maintenance of the pipeline to prolong its lifespan and improve safety of our operations.
Effluents from the pigging will be discharged in Takoradi. The company has arranged for the effluent to be managed in line with Environmental Protection Agency processes and procedures.
As part of this operation, WAPCo has developed a two-way communication process with its stakeholders and will continue to engage them on all issues to ensure safe and successful exercise.
Questions & Answers
- What impact will the pigging have on power supply to Ghana?
Answer: We have worked closely with the Ministry of Energy for the past several months in planning this exercise and the Ministry will be in a better position to address this question.
- Why this exercise now?
Answer: It is a regulatory requirement and critical operational integrity requirement that is due. The date was determined in consultation with stakeholders in all four countries that would allow for the safe execution of the work while attempting to minimize impact to customers.
- Will Tema receive gas supply from the East (Nigeria) during the pigging?
Answer: No, during the pigging execution period, WAPCo, will be working in conjunction with the Ministry, GNPC and Eni Ghana to complete expansion works at our Tema facility to deliver more gas to customers in the Tema area.
- What possible waste will be generated from the pigging and how will it be managed
Answer: Possible waste (effluent) may include liquids, condensate, and some small metal/lubricant debris. A service provider has been contracted to manage effluent in Takoradi.
KWASI AGYEMAN PREMPEH
GENERAL MANAGER CORPORATE AFFAIRS