Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bring me your gas: West African pipeline to open in April

The pipeline that will bring gas from Niger to other West African states will begin flowing in April, three months behind schedule.

From Reuters:

The 678 km (420 mile) pipeline will transport natural gas from Nigeria's Niger Delta to Benin, Togo and Ghana to help ease chronic power shortages around West Africa, seen as a major hindrance to development in the region.

The first gas had been expected to flow through the pipeline to Ghana's western port of Takoradi on Dec. 23 but was delayed after leaks were detected in supply pipelines in Nigeria which needed cleaning and repair work.

The $620 million West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) starts at the Itoki terminal in southeastern Nigeria and heads eastward across Benin and Togo to reach Takoradi in western Ghana.

Jack Derickson, Managing Director of the West African Pipeline Company (WAPCo), said the pipeline had been ready since December but the state-owned Nigeria Gas Company (NGC) was still repairing its own system from Warri in the Niger Delta to Itoki.

"The current hold-up is repair of the NGC system several hundred miles upstream of WAGP. Our understanding is those repairs are nearly complete," Derickson told Reuters, adding gas was likely to flow by April.

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