Ghana’s Woes Deepen: Aboadze Thermal Plant Also Shutdown

Ghana’s energy crisis may not be ending anytime soon with the shutdown of the Aboadze Thermal Plant.

Electricity consumers are to experience further power outages.

According to Planning and Business Development Manager of the Volta River Authority (VRA), Mr. Kofi Ellis the shutdown is not new. ‘Is not as if the Aboadze plant has just shut down; we have had maintenance activities going on on Aboadze right from January this year, we’ve been having series of maintenance activities at the Aboadze plant for some time now,’ he noted.

Mr. Ellis said the Aboadze plant shutdown is the cause of some of the power outages that the country is experiencing.

He explained that the current shutdown of the Aboadze plant is due to the fact that machines are undergoing planned maintenance and shut down maintenance due to ‘certain emergencies’.

‘We have T1, T2 and T3 in Tarkoradi; and the unit one under T1 had a compressor failure in January and that is what we have been replacing till date; that is expected to come back to service on the 18, July 2014,’ he stated.

He further added that unit two of T1 went off for a mandatory inspection on the 19th of May 2014 and it will come back on 19, June 2014.

Mr. Ellis said the T2 and T3 all have problems that make it impossible for the plants to operate. He opined that the VRA is working round the clock to rectify the problem.

Ghana is currently under-going a load-shedding exercise due to inconsistent gas supply from Nigeria, the shutdown of Bui Dam plant, and a drop in the generation capacity of the Aboadze gas plant.

The erratic power supply is affecting manufacturing and increasing the cost of doing business.

Energy supply in Ghana
With a population of over 25 million, Ghana has an energy supply need of around 2,200 megawatts (MW) plus reserves of about 200MW.

The Akosombo Hydroelectric Power Plant supplies about 1,020MW of energy, followed by the Bui Dam, which produces 400MW; then the Aboadze Thermal Power Plant, which produces 360MW and the Takoradi Thermal Power Plant which produces 330MW.

Kpong produces 160MW, while the country’s first solar plant at Punga in the Upper East Region produces 2MW of power onto the national grid, giving the country a total of 2,272MW of combined electricity supply.

Thermal power plants to produce 500MW have been installed and inaugurated in Tema at various times. Some of them are public projects, but most of the capacity is private (Sunon Asogli 200 MW) or semi-private (CENIT 126 MW).

Several thermal generation projects totalling over 1,000MW are currently at various stages of development by both public and private operators.

These projects include Kpone (Alstom), Sunon Asogli Expansion, Takoradi 2 combined-cycle expansion, CENIT/TT1PP expansion and Takoradi 3 expansion.

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