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FPSO Kwame Nkruamah Damage to FPSO more serious than anticipated- Armah Buah

As a result, the FPSO may resume production of oil and gas on April 23 as planned but may not be totally robust enough for total dependability.

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FPSO Kwame Nkrumah play

FPSO Kwame Nkrumah

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The damage to the turret bearing of the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah is more serious and complicated than initially thought.

This has been revealed by Petroleum Minister Armah Kofi Buah after a visit to the FPSO  to ascertain the veracity of the problem.

As a result, the FPSO may resume production of oil and gas on April 23 as planned but may not be totally robust enough for total dependability.

This comes as a cause for concern to most Ghanaians as the FPSO’s halt in operations has led to a shortfall of about 200 Mega Watts of power during peak hours, leading to unstable supply of power during these periods.

For now, Managing Director of the  Ghana Grid Company, William Amuna says there is no need for a load shedding program as they expect generation to increase shortly owing to early rains.

According to him, early rains will boost the country’s hydro- electric power provision, and generally reduce demand as temperatures will drop. All these phenomena are expected to save the country some 500MW of power.

READ MORE: Dumsor Load shedding returns as FPSO postpones production

Meanwhile, the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah’s turret bearing (the damaged part) is no longer able to rotate as originally designed.

A root cause analysis is ongoing and a project team is assessing to find a long-term solution to the operational problems on the FPSO.

The country Manager for Tullow Ghana Mr Charlse Darko said, the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah has now been placed on "heading control" through the use of tugs which minimise vessel movement around the bearing.

He added that, new operating procedures, including the use of a dynamically-positioned shuttle tanker (capacity of 250,000 barrels of oil) and a storage tanker (capacity of 1 million barrels of oil), are being implemented to assure safe production and off-take operations.

It is however unclear at this point if the FPSO will commence full operation on the mentioned April 23, given that operation procedure will have to change drastically.

According to Mr Darko, although all necessary equipment for the new operating procedures, including the two tankers, are in place, it is important that additional time and due care is taken to implement new procedures and receive required approvals.

Darko said, “safety and protecting the environment remain Tullow’s key priorities.

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