State-owned Ghana National Gas Company has launched processing operations at its new gas processing plant. The supplies from the Atuabo plant are feeding thermal power generators operated by electric utility Volta River Authority (VRA) in the town of Aboadze.

Ghana Gas claims that the project could save the government up to $300 million a year on fuel costs even with the current slump in world oil prices, Reuters reported. It also comes at a time when supplies from Nigeria are unreliable.

The Atuabo gas processing plant processes natural gas from the offshore Jubilee oil field operated by U.K.-based Tullow Oil. It is currently supplying VRA around 50 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD), which is generating 150-200 MW of power at Aboadze.

The company is looking to ramp up production to the plant's design flow of 150 MMSCFD by the end of December.

Some 3,000 tons of liquefied petroleum gas and 500 tons of condensate have also been produced as byproducts. Ghana Gas expects these levels to rise significantly as the company nears completion of the commissioning process and as raw gas intake at the Atuabo plant is increased.

There are still some technical challenges to be overcome, however. Ghana Gas is working with VRA and Tullow Oil to scale certain hurdles encountered concerning the plant's ongoing commissioning process. These issues have affected the commissioning schedule, the company admitted.

Still, Dr. Kwesi Botchwey, chairman of the board, said in a statement that the board is generally pleased with the commissioning process and was looking forward to a successful completion and commencement of full operations.