No Cash For Crude

K .T. Hammond

K .T. Hammond

A FORMER deputy minister of Energy, K T Hammond, has asked Government to stop perpetrating lies about the current energy problems facing the country and disclose to Ghanaians the actual state of the country’s energy supply system.

He said the current load shedding, popularly called ‘dumsor dumsor,’ has nothing to do with the supply of gas from the West African Gas Pipeline (WAPC) in Nigeria, but rather ‘government has no money to buy crude to fire the thermal plant at Aboadze’ in the Western Region.

‘The issue about the shortage of power supply is not so much with the West African Gas Pipeline; essentially it is not the issue,” he said.

Mr. Hammond told DAILY GUIDE yesterday in Accra that the many assurances given by Government to Ghanaians that the energy situation was going to improve were huge lies, adding that Government was cash-strapped.

The current ‘dumsor dumsor’ which is making Ghanaians agitated and industries contemplating shutting down, was attributed to low supply of gas from WAPC, which K T Hammond has challenged.

‘The reality on the ground is that most of the VRA’s plants have broken down and the T3 is said to have been closed.’

He said the Energy Minister, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah’s visit to the West Africa Gas Pipeline Company’s offices in Nigeria, at the instance of President John Mahama, to arrange for a way out of the energy crisis was also a political gimmick.

‘The thermal plant at Aboadze can use both crude oil and gas. So if the gas supply has been cut, why can’t crude oil be used as an alternative to power the plant?’ he asked.

‘Most of the plants that we have in the country, except the Sunon Asogli plant that depends on gas, the rest are all convertible from gas to crude; so it’s not so much the fact that we do not have gas from the West African Gas Pipeline that is creating the problem, it is simply because we do not have the money to buy crude to power the thermal plants that we have,” he added.

He also hinted that Government was said to be indebted to the West African Gas Pipeline Company hence, the severance of the gas supply to VRA.

‘As of now, the VRA cannot even open letters of credit, even though we are paying through our nose,’ he pointed out.

The Adansi Asokwa MP stated that President Mahama’s assertion sometime back that the country’s energy sector had improved its installed capacity by 534 megawatts were also calculated lies.

The President announced that the Bui Dam could supply 400 megawatts of power; the Takoradi (T3) plant could supply 132 megawatts and some solar sources of 2 megawatts.

He averred that the 132 megawatts plant which the President announced that the T3 was going to supply was untrue, adding that the plant broke down in June last year – barely a month after it had been installed. Also, he mentioned that the Bui Dam’s 133 megawatts supply which Government made so much noise on, was nowhere to be found as the dam was not functioning at the time of the announcement.

‘Until Government commits itself to giving money for crude, Ghanaians will continue to sleep in darkness.’

Mr. Hammond was also furious at Government for placing more premium on the World Cup tournament than on the lives of Ghanaians. ‘In the midst of this disgraceful power situation, Government has the guts to tell Ghanaians that it will spend GH¢25 million on the Black Stars while the USA and Nigeria have announced that they will spend $3.5million and $5million respectively on their teams at the tournament. What does this Government take us for?’

Power suppliers and distributors have indicated that they will soon come out with new time tables on power rationing to consumers.

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BY Samuel Boadi

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