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Energy Policy Think Tank, Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has advised government to suspend the construction of the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility at Tema and rather focus on the optimisation of domestic gas.
It argues that given the cost of the importation of LNG and Ghana’s current domestic gas supply volumes, Ghana needs to focus on reducing rather than accumulating more debts through the importation of LNG.
$820 million a year liability
ACEP in its analysis of the 2020 budget statement said the Tema LNG presents a liability of over $820 million a year when completed.
It observed that the LNG regasification facility is currently under construction to receive gas from Gazprom’s Gas Sales Agreement (GSA) with Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).
No clarity on the status of Tema LNG project
The energy policy think tank however said there is no clarity on the status of the Tema LNG project under construction.
Risk of liabilities on GNPC
However, it stated that the construction of the LNG facility requires government’s immediate action to halt the process to avoid risk of liabilities on GNPC and by extension the national budget.
Cancelation of LNG contracts
The 2020 budget indicated government’s intention to cancel LNG projects under negotiation and to place a moratorium on future procurements of LNG.
Deficit in domestic gas supply
This is a recognition of the fact that available domestic gas is enough to meet demand in the short to medium term.
New gas discoveries render external sources irrelevant
ACEP said its analysis shows that new gas discoveries present additional domestic sources that render external sources irrelevant.
Domestic gas discoveries stand the risk of becoming stranded
It argued that additional commitments to LNG distorts government’s push for aggressive upstream exploration activities, as domestic gas discoveries stand the risk of becoming stranded.
ACEP therefore, welcomed government’s stance on suspending LNG sale and purchase agreements until further notice.
750 mmscf contracted
In presenting the mid-year budget review in parliament, Finance Minister Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, said Ghana has contracted around 750 million standard cubic feet of gas (mmscf) per day by 2023.
Current gas demand is 250 mmscfd
He explained that current demand is around 250 mmscf per day, and this is projected to rise to between 450 and 550 mmscf per day by 2023.
200 – 300 mmscfd over supply projected by 2023
All things being equal, the Minister said there is projected oversupply of 200 to 300 mmscf per day by 2023.
640 mmscfd on take-or-pay basis
Mr Ofori-Atta explained that about 640 mmscfd of the contracted gas supply is on a take-or-pay basis, meaning Ghana has to pay whether the gas is consumed or not.
$550m and $850m annual excess gas capacity charges from 2020
He stated that from 2020, the country would be facing annual excess gas capacity charges of between $550 and $850 million every year.
$51m paid to ENI a month
He added that, currently, for Sankofa Offshore Cape Three Points gas alone, Ghana pays over $51 million a month under a take-or-pay contract for 154 mmscf per day even though the country only actually takes 60 mmscf per day on average.
250 mmscfd expected to be completed in 2020
The Tema LNG Terminal project consists of a Floating Storage, Regasification Unit (FSRU) with capacity of 250 mmscfd and is expected to be completed in 2020.
The initial contracted supply amount is about 180 mmscfd.
The project is controlled by Helios Investments which has signed an agreement with China Harbour Engineering Company for the construction of the FSRU.
Rosneft of Russia supply to supply LNG
GNPC has signed a-12-year agreement with Rosneft of Russia for the supply of the LNG.
500 mmscfd floating LNG storage
GNPC earlier in 2017 signed an agreement with a private company, Quantum Power Ghana Gas Limited for the latter to construct and operate a 500 mmscfd floating LNG storage, regasification and delivery facility moored offshore Tema.
$550 million LNG facility fell through
The $550 million facility which was supposed to be operational this year apparently fell through and has been replaced with the Rosneft facility.
The small-scale virtual LNG is a virtual pipeline project to supply gas to Sunon Asogli and Trojan power plants.
Details of the project
It would comprise seventeen ’52-cubic-metre’ LNG trucks ferrying LNG from small scale LNG ships berthed at the Tema Port; eight trucks at the loading gantry at a time and additional eight trucks moving every night to deliver the fuel to the 560 megawatts (MW) gas fired Sunon Asogli Power Plant thermal plants.
Loading is estimated to take an average of an hour. Initial contract quantity is said to be 60 mmscfd.
Current gas demand is primarily for power generation
Current gas demand in Ghana is primarily for power generation and is focused around power plants at Aboadze and Tema and industrial demand is also concentrated in these areas.
New power projects at Atuabo, Esiama and Domunli
Future power generation plans include expansion and new projects at these sites and also new projects at Atuabo, Esiama and Domunli.
Gas production per oil field
Gas production on the various fields are Jubilee-120 mmscfd, Tweneboa, Ntomme and Enyenra (TEN)-60 mmscfd and Sankofa-180 mmscfd totaling 360 mmscfd.
560 mmscfd daily demand
Considering this current production, the Atuabo gas plant has the capacity to produce 150 mmscfd as against the estimated 560 mmscfd of natural gas demand by the country daily.
Eni increased gas to 405 mmscfd daily
Eni has constructed an Onshore Receiving Facility (ORF). Ghana National Gas Company together with Eni has constructed a tie in to GNGC pipeline and has increased daily production to 405 mmscfd.
155 mmscfd deficit daily
However, there is still deficit of 155 mmscfd in gas supplied for power generation.
Estimated deficit within breakeven point
Industry players and experts say the estimated deficit of about 155 mmscfd is within the breakeven point for a typical 200-250 mmscfd LNG regasification facility.
Experts oppose LNG and opt for liquefied natural gas
To improve the overall power supply in the country, experts and industry players proposed investments in liquefied natural gas as an alternative gas supply to augment the limited local and unreliable gas from the West Africa Gas Pipeline (WAGP) from Nigeria should be pursued.
Experts say LNG supply is expensive
According to them, LNG supply option would be relatively expensive compared to local or the WAGP gas but cheaper than crude oil.
Significant domestic gas offshore
The experts argue that Ghana has significant domestic gas offshore, enough for the next decade, and therefore does not need to import LNG.
Domestic gas production benefits Ghana than LNG
The experts and industry players say Ghana benefits from a far higher share of value from domestic gas production compared to LNG.