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West African gas pipeline project to be reinvigorated

IANS | Porto-Novo (Benin)  |

A regional meeting is expected on Friday in the port city Cotonou in Benin to eliminate bottlenecks that impede the good operation of the West African gas pipeline project (WAGP).

According to an official release issued on 11 May in the economic capital Cotonou, the Committee of Ministers of WAGP and the Commissioner of Mining and Energy of Ecowas will hold the meeting, Xinhua news agency reported.

"The meeting is purposed to seek ways and means to eliminate the bottlenecks that impede the smooth operation of the project," the release said.

The WAGP is a private-public based enterprise that includes Benin, Togo, Ghana and Nigeria, which is the main provider of gas resources.

It is designed to enable a community use of the gas from Nigeria for electricity production and affordable, good quality and quantity industrial heat production.

Initiated in September 1995, WAGP commenced commercial production from March 2011 and faced several challenges.

There was weak satisfaction to the demand for gas due to vandalism on export pipelines in Niger Delta in Nigeria, financial difficulties of the West African gas pipeline company and cumulated arrears of billings of Volta River Authority (VRA) of Ghana.

In aggregate, Chevron-Texaco, Shell, NNPC from Nigeria, Volta River Authority (VRA) hold 96 per cent participation in the project, while BenGAZ SA from Benin and SOTOGAZ from Togo hold each two per cent participation.