WAPCo seeks alternative gas supply to customers
The West Africa Pipeline Company Limited (WAPCo), is exploring other alternatives to ensure continuous supply of gas to its customers within the sub-region.
The company is making this move in order to meet the gas demand in Benin, Togo, and Ghana, as supply from Nigeria has remained irregular.
Nigeria last year, saw a resurgence of militant attacks in the Niger Delta, which caused the nation’s production to plummet to a near 30-year low, and disrupted gas supply to power plants.
Already, the inability of Nigeria to consistently supply gas is threatening investments in the West Africa sub-region, which depend on continuous supply to thrive.
Speaking during the company’s Vendors Forum in Lagos, the Managing Director of the company, Walter Perez, said WAPCo is presently transporting about 70 million standard cubic feet (scf) of gas daily to its customers, although it has the capacity to transport about 150million scf daily.
Perez said: “Presently, we are carrying just 70 million scf of gas, being the request by our customers, but if the request increases, we will transport more.
“We have the capacity to transport over 150 million scf of gas daily, but what we carry depends on our customers.”
Perez said vandalism of pipelines had affected the volume of gas transported, adding that lately, the volume had come back to normal, noting that WAPCo
Is however, having debt challenges from some of its customers.
He said: “Debt is an issue, but the company is working with countries involved to resolve it.
“Also, there are challenges of non-availability of gas, and during such periods, our customers used to look for alternatives, but our suppliers now have more than enough.”
Perez said the forum was held to enable WAPCo to interact with its service providers, saying: “We do this across countries that we operate in. We have done one in Ghana early this year.
“We will soon hold another one in Togo and Benin. It is to create a safety environment for our vendors and to let them know how we operate.”
Also speaking at the event, General Manager, Finance, WAPCo, Mike Nemblam Enendu, explained that the essence of the forum was to interact with the vendors, share health safety and environment expectations with them, and also hear from them what their experiences have been working for Wapco, and how they can improve going forward in their relationship with them.
He said: “We want to ensure that we are working in sync on safety issues, and anti-bribery and corruption issues on quality delivery and cost efficiency. The oil and gas sector is very difficult sector to operate that is prone to safety incidence if you are not careful. Part of the challenges we face is having indigenous vendors who are incompetent to work.
“We ensure we develop vendors who show interests and desires of improving where they are. Our aim is to make sure we build up our local vendors to provide us with the quality service we need. Though, resources are scarce to get, nevertheless, we ensure that they don’t compromise on safety issues.
“We have had some experience with vandalism, and more often than not, people don’t realise that it is gas pipeline and petroleum products pipelines”.
We have had a few occasions where our pipelines have been breached, and we have done remedial work on those. But we have a robust maintenance programme where we work together with our host communities and security agencies to monitor our right of way, and ensure it does not happen.”
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