President Mahama on Monday said government’s determination to produce 5,000 megawatts of energy was not only achievable, but was also on course to make Ghana a net exporter of the commodity.
He said while 133 megawatts from the Takoradi three Thermal Plants had already been released into the national pool, an additional 133 megawatts would also be released in the next three weeks from the Bui hydro dam.
President Mahama said this when he broke the grounds for the expansion of the Aboadze Thermal Plant, to be executed within 27 months to produce 110 megawatts.
The additional 110 megawatts is collaboration between the government of Ghana through the Takoradi International Company, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) and other technical and financial stakeholders.
The 330 million dollars project is supported by the International Finance Company, African Development Bank and Oil Production Companies among other major stakeholders.President Mahama said the elimination of the load-shedding during off peak hours was to give ample opportunities to businesses such as welders, barbers and other smaller commercial entities to work and generate more jobs for others.
He said apart from the Aboadze, Bui and Navrongo solar power plants being expanded, government would also find alternative energy generation that would in future throw the current national load-shedding into the dustbin of history.
‘Ghana will develop an energy economy that will empower the country to generate more energy for domestic consumption and also become a net exporter of the commodity.’ He added.
On the Atuabo National Gas Project, also in the western Region, President Mahama said plans were far advanced to complete the project, which would depend on the Jubilee field to produce gas and help in fertilizer production for domestic use and export.
Mr. Kalim Al Gaith, Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister from the United Arab Emirates said energy production was the core business of TAQA and they would consolidate their relations with African and Asian countries to ensure that the commodity was abundantly produced.
He commended all the partners and gave the assurance that their outfit would continue to liaise with other partners to achieve ultimate energy production in partner countries.
Mr. Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, Minister of Energy gave the assurance that the load-shedding would soon become a thing of the past as conscious efforts are being made to eliminate it in the next few weeks to come.
He said Government was putting in place medium and long term measures that would sustain power production and distribution to avoid the recurrence of what he described as ‘dum-so, dum-so’.
In a related development, President John Mahama has assured Ghanaians that government was putting strategic measures in place to ensure that the nation was not plunged into darkness. He said government lost 300 megawatts of power due to the break-up of the West Africa Gas Pipeline and had partially resolved the problem by reclaiming 80 megawatts of power.
“The load shedding has now become a bit bearable due to prudent measures government had embarked upon in recent times” explained the President.
President Mahama gave the message of hope when he met the Omanhene of Eastern Nzema, chiefs and indigenes of Nzemaland to inspect work on the ongoing gas processing plant and also cut the sod for the commencement of the phase 3 project at Adoabo in the Ellembelle District of the Western Region.
Among those in his entourage were the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Mr. Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Gas Company, Dr. George Sipa Yankey, Chief of Defence Staff, Mr. Prosper Bani, the Western Regional Minister, Mr. E.K.T. Addo and the DCE for Ellembelle, Mr. Daniel K. Eshun.
President Mahama said the sustainability of Ghana’s Energy supply rests on the Adoabo gas processing plant and was critical in the Energy sector.
He said Ghana’s Energy demand was growing by 10% a year due to population growth, adding that, it was not the intention of government to plunge the nation into darkness.”Government is not solely responsible for the “dum so” “dum so” but due to pressure on the Energy sector, clarified President Mahama.
He said government was looking up to 500 megawatts of power in the next 2 years to stabilise the energy situation and thanked the Omanhene, Awulae Amihere Kpanyinli III and his subjects for releasing land for the project.
President Mahama said the facility would improve the living conditions of the people as it would create more jobs for them when it was completed in December this year.
The CEO of Ghana Gas Company, Dr Sipa Yanakey said 45km of pipelines had so far been laid to connect the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah to the operating plant and assured that, the remaining pipelines would be laid in the next couple of weeks.
He also assured that, his outfit would finish the project by the end of the year to put to rest the power crisis facing the nation. Dr Yankey said reasonable compensation would be paid to the affected farmers and the traditional council and assured that, more indigenes would be employed in the area.
The Omahene of Eastern Nzema Traditional Councill, Awulae Amihere Kpanyinli III urged President Mahama to ensure that, government harnessed the natural resources in the country to better the living conditions of Ghanaians.
He said the Western Region must get its fair share of the national cake as the NDC government promised during the campaign.
Nana Kpanyinli III appealed to traditional rulers in the Western Region to unite and rally behind the government to develop the nation.