The Ghana National Gas Company (Ghana Gas) will by the middle of 2019 monetize an essential by-product, known as Isopentane, which would be used for power generation.
Currently, the pentane gas is flared since the country has not built the capacity to use this particular gas. However, the CEO of Ghana Gas, Dr. Ben Asante revealed at a media briefing that by the middle of this year, Ghana Gas will be using the Isopentane gas produced for power generation.
The power production is expected to be undertaken by an independent local power producer.
According to sources at Ghana Gas, two companies have shown interest in using the flared gas for a productive purpose, such as the power generation.
In February 2018, General Energy (GE) and Marinus Energy, a local company, announced a pilot project to capture Isopentane gas and use it as a fuel source for generating electricity.
The Atuabo Waste to Power Independent Power Project (“Atuabo”) will be the first TM2500 power plant in Sub-Saharan Africa to use Isopentane gas as a fuel source and will run on GE’s latest TM2500 gas turbines.
The first phase of the project will convert the Isopentane fuel into up to 31 megawatts (MW) of power, generating enough electricity to supply power for more than 100,000 Ghanaian households.
Currently, the local power producer operates the 93-MW Atuabo Power Plant.
As additional gas is brought onshore, the plant is expected to add on extra gas generating units up to a capacity of 100 MW. This extra Isopentane fuel will eventually be stripped off from an offshore gas supply and processed at Atuabo by the Ghana National Gas Company.
Aside the power production, another available use for the Isopentane gas is the production of fertilizer and other by-products.
Government through the Ghana Gas entered into an agreement with ENI, an Italian multinational oil and gas company, and one to the global supermajors to receive the Isopentane to produce fertilizer and also use it for power production.
A pipeline is expected to be constructed to Jomoro where a fertilizer company will be built to receive some natural gas for the production of fertilizers and other chemicals at a cheaper cost.
An International Energy Statistics report by the U.S Energy Information Administration on Ghana has revealed that in 2015 alone, 4.60 Billion Cubic feet of Natural Gas was vented and flared by operators in the petroleum sector. The figure was much higher from 2010 when commercial production in Ghana began.
Natural Gas Reserves
In terms of gas reserves, Jubilee Field has associated gas reserves estimated at 490 Billion cubic feet (Bcf); TEN field has associated gas reserve of 363 Bcf, and Sankofa Gye Nyame has non-associated gas reserves of 1,107 Bcf. When finally developed, the Mahogany and Teak discoveries will give the country total reserves of 120 Bcf, exclusive of the discoveries made by Aker energy at the Pecan Fields.