Deal for 2 emergency power barges concluded

John Abu JinaporThe financial deal for the procurement of two emergency power barges with installed capacity of 450 Megawatts (MW), has been concluded with the first barge being expected in the country by April.

The Minister for Power, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, signed the deal with Karpower of Turkey for the delivery of the emergency power barges.

Deputy Minister for Power, John Jinapor, who announced this yesterday in Accra, at the West Africa Clean Energy and Environment Conference said, the emergency barges were being sought as a short term measure while a number of projects are also being undertaken as the medium to long term measures to address the power crisis in the country.

He said the government is working to facilitate the delivery of 700 MW of emergency power, to address the energy shortfall in the country within the first and second quarters of the year.

Mr Jinapor said the government was vigorously pursuing the measures to get the country out of the power crisis, regretting the negative impact the energy crisis had caused on the economy, and urged Ghanaians to conserve electricity.

As a short term measure to address the power crisis in the country, the government contracted Messrs Karadeniz Power Group/Karpower of Turkey, a renowned global power manufacturing company to manufacture and supply 2x 225 MW of power.

The self- propelled power ships are expected to be strategically located in Tema and Takoradi to provide continuous electricity supply to consumers.

The country’s power generation capacity has been weakened by the low level of water in the Akosombo and Bui Dams, inadequate gas supply from Nigeria through the West African Gas Pipeline to power the country’s largest single power generator, the Volta River Authority plants, and the extended maintenance of the power plants.

In order to manage the country’s power deficit the power authorities have resorted to load shedding to match demand and supply, while measures are being pursued to restore normal power supply to the country.

Between 510 and 600MW of power is being shed, as part of the load shedding, as follows: Greater Accra, 220 MW; Ashanti, 100MW; Tema, 60MW; Western Region, 50MW; Eastern and Central 30MW each and Volta Region, 20 MW.

Among the medium and long term measures in place to address the power crisis include 200 MW from the Kpone Thermal Plant, 1,000 MW from General Electricity, 360 MW from Jacobsen, 360 MW from Cenit Power and 360 from the phase two the Sunon-Asogli project.

Ghana has exhausted all its hydro generation resources, and is currently exploring the use of coal and other renewable sources as a long term measure to increase power generation to about 5,000 MW by 2016.

By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman

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