Bui Power Plant is not white elephant —Management

The Bui Dam (2)The management of Bui Power Authority (BPA) has dispelled rumours making the rounds that the Bui generating power station has become a white elephant.

According to the External Relations Manager of the BPA, Wumbila Salifu, it was erroneous for Ghanaians to assume that with the coming of the Bui Power Station, the energy crisis the country was currently facing was coming to an end.

“The Bui generating station is not a game changer or a magic wand but to augment the power supply of the country,” he said.

At a press briefing yesterday at the station to explain issues, Mr. Salifu announced that in view of the supply-demand balance for 2015, especially at peak load time, the optimal utilisation of the Bui power plant as had been determined by the PBA and systems control centre, was for the plant to generate 200mw to 250mw during each evening peak and shutdown for the rest of the day.

This mode of operation for 2015, he said was commonly referred to as “peaking duty”.

In addition to this “peaking duty”, Mr. Salifu said the optimal utilisation plan for 2015 requires that the Bui plant plays another critical role, providing backup generation, to the extent possible in cases of plant outages and emergencies of other generating plants.

He explained that due to problems at other generating plants in the supply of power, the Bui Generating Power Station was currently producing 360mw as and when the need arises.

Mr. Salifu said the reservoir created by the construction of the Bui dam was designed to have a maximum water level of 183m above sea-level and a minimum operating level for power generation of 168masl, adding the year-start of the Bui reservoir in 2015 was 177.30masl.

He explained further that at the end of the 2014 rainy season in October, the reservoir level had risen to 177.9masl which was still well below the maximum reservoir level.

The limited amount of inflows into the reservoir during the rainy season, therefore, had to be used judiciously in order to last through the dry season and until the start of next rainy season in July, 2015.

Based on the amount of water obtained in the 2014 rainy season, Mr. Salifu noted that the BPA planned to draw down the Bui reservoir at a rate which would be sustained throughout the dry season.

The BPA is operating the Bui plant in accordance with the optimal plan agreed with SCC.

From Daniel Dzirasah, Bui

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