After several months of having “sleepless nights”, President John Dramani Mahama, has at last succeeded in finding an antidote to the infamous ‘dumsor dumsor’ virus, which plagued the country recently and was collapsing businesses and the country’s economy.
The Herald newspaper is reliably informed by officials at the Energy Ministry and the Public Relations Manager of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), William Boateng, that the country’s power rationing crisis is over and at the moment, Ghana is producing unprecedented 200megawalts excess electricity which is being wasted.
It appears President Mahama, who publicly declared he had sleepless nights over the power crisis and was even cartooned, together with Asiedu Nketiah, the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), in a picture captioned “The Dons of Dumsor”, might be sleeping comfortable now.
The excess 200 megawatts power is being produced at the time, when the T2 Power Unit at Takoradi in the Western Region, has developed fault and hence not working.
However, Sunnon-Asogli Plant has resumed operation as a result of West Africa Gas Pipeline (WAPCO) from Nigeria, which got damaged and was under repairs for almost a year. The plant is operating only two out of six units for now, but is currently producing 141MW out of a total capacity of 200megawatts.
The Assistant External Relations Officer at Bui Power Authority, Mawuli Fui Kwadzovia, has also confirmed the addition of a second 133 megawatts to the national grid to The Herald, making a total of 266 megawatts from the Bui Hydro Electricity Project.
This Mr. Kwadzovia said, was done last Tuesday in the presence of the Secretary General of West Africa Power Pool, Amadou Diallo, who was very impressed with the project.
Higher-ranking engineers at the energy ministry hinted The Herald that for now, any blackout could be attributed to the ECG, experiencing a localized technical trouble, but that the nation is assured of full capacity power supply again.
This assertion was supported by the Public Relations Manager of ECG, William Boateng, who told The Herald in an exclusive interview that “Technically, the load shedding is over, because there is enough power to supply”.
Mr. Boateng, together with the Management of ECG and the Board of Directors are in the Ashanti Region for a meeting with Otumfo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, on certain developmental projects the company wants to embark upon, told The Herald that “if our Nigerian brothers will remain faithful to the West African Gas supply, load shedding is gone”.
The ECG Public Relations Manager said, there could be normal shutdowns for maintenance work, which could last for two to three hours. Apart from this, technical challenges, such as breakdown of the electric transformers, could also lead to the shortage in supply. He assured that when this happens, ECG is poised to address the situation.
The ECG management is in Kumasi to secure land to mount electric transformers, as well as Consumer Call Centers among other things. The company commissioned a new Engineering Laboratory at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), it sponsored.
Mr. Boateng is hopeful that Ghana’s own gas from the Western Region will soon start flowing to permanently end the periodic power crisis forever.
The nationwide power crisis was severe with power sporadically going off every moment, sometimes three to five times daily.
Meanwhile, additional information available to The Herald is that Ghana’s own Gas Pipe-line under construction by Chinese company, Sinopec at Atuabo in the Western Region, had also received huge cash from the Chinese Development Bank (CDB) loan with work resuming in earnest.
It is anticipated that when this construction is completed, Ghana would no longer heavily rely on the West Africa gas pipeline from Nigeria to power some of its electricity units.
President Mahama it would be recalled made countless trips to Nigeria and held many meetings with his Nigerian counterpart President, Goodluck Jonathan over the crisis.
He also made site visits to Glidco, Aboadze Thermal Plant and others in worried efforts to end the crisis. At the moment, neighbouring countries like Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast which Ghana supplies power is also assured of adequate power.
Meanwhile, the resumption of gas supply from the West Africa gas pipeline (WAPCO) has been met with much delight as the Minister for Energy and Petroleum, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, visited the Sunnon Asogli power plant recently specifically on Friday, July 12, 2013 to witness its operations for the first time, in almost a year after the damage to the gas pipe line in August 2012.
Speaking to the Media at the Sunnon-Asogli Plant, Mr. Buah said, it was a great relief to the people of Ghana to have the Plant resume operations.
He indicated that the power generated from the plant would almost eliminate the power deficit that has resulted in the current energy crisis facing the country.
He expressed the Ministry’s commitment to work with West African Gas Pipeline Company and N-Gas to make sure there is constant flow of gas and to also ensure that the contractual volumes are met.
Briefing the Minister, the Head of Operations at the Plant stated that the current flow of gas is very impressive and was confident that the Plant would generate its full capacity of 200MW by close of Monday, July 15, 2013.
He expressed his gratitude for the Government’s support over the years and also stated that phase two of the project to add 360MW would soon kick start.
Mr. Buah was then taken on a tour of the plant after which he commended Sunnon-Asogli for their commitment and the way they helped during the energy crisis.