Ghanaians should brace themselves up for more power outages, popularly known as ‘Dumsor,’ as service providers have reduced electricity supply to consumers throughout the country.
While the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) shed a total of 530 megawatts (MW) of power yesterday, at the behest of the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo), the Power Ministry said the Ghana Gas Company had been shut down to enable the African Middle East Investment (AMERI) Power Plant to be connected onto its gas supply system.
The ECG said the decision to shed the 530 megawatts (MW) of power was due to “insufficient power”.
A statement issued in Accra and copied to The Ghanaian Times by the Power Ministry, said the AMERI plant, being installed at Aboadze, was expected to generate additional 250 megawatts into the National Inter Connected Transmission System (NITS), when completed.
According to the release, signed by Mr. Kweku Sessah-Johnson, Head of Public Relations, “engineers of both the Ghana Gas and AMERI are working around the clock to complete the connection of the gas line and to ameliorate the recent further decline in power supply in the country”.
In a sharp response, however, the Ghana Gas Company Limited described as “erroneous”, the claims by the ministry that the heightened load-shedding in the country was as a result of the shutdown of the company.
“The Ghana Gas has no contract regarding the ongoing installation works by AMERI plant being installed at the Aboadze enclave.
”However, because of the experience gained in pipeline construction over the past four years, Ghana Gas engineers are only assisting the VRA to connect the AMERI plant to its power system,” Alfred Ogbame, the Corporate Communications Manager at Ghana Gas, said in a statement.
He explained that the decision to shut down Ghana Gas between November 23-27, was at the request of the Volta River Authority (VRA) and, therefore, ” we find the attempt by the Ministry of Power to mislead the public on this matter, disingenuous and unhelpful”.
He said the VRA, before requesting that Ghana Gas be shut down for the works, had claimed that it had adequate arrangements, for light crude oil to power its Aboadze plant and avoid a shortfall in energy generation.
Government’s attempt to find a lasting solution to the power crisis has been checkered over the years, as it tries to ensure the crisis does not travel beyond 2015.
Some of the efforts to arrest the situation include agreements with private firms to build thermal and other energy sources, and the importation of power badges to ameliorate energy generation.
A power barge to shore up power generation is expected to dock at the shores of Ghana this week, after an earlier one arrived almost two weeks ago.
Last month, Nigeria Gas threatened to cut gas supply to Ghana due to government’s inability to honour its financial commitments, a threat which has subsided after government paid US $10 million of the US$182 million it owed its West African neighbour.
President John Dramani Mahama last month, asked Ghanaians to be prepared to pay a little more for electricity if they wanted reliable power supply.
He said once Ghana was going to rely more on thermal for power generation, which is more expensive compared to hydro, the cost of electricity would naturally go up.
By Julius Yao Petetsi