Load-shedding to end this month

The Volta River Authority (VRA) has assured the public that the current load management will be over within the next two weeks.

That is when the two faulty thermal plants in Takoradi, belonging to the VRA and TICO, restart operations.

The two plants are expected to add 250 megawatts (MW) to the national grid to make up for the current shortfall of between 200MW and 300MW during peak hours.

 The Chief Executive Officer of the VRA, Mr Kirk Koffi, who gave the assurance in an interview with the Daily Graphic, said the VRA’s thermal plant, which had been down since January 2013,  would restart operations next week, while that of TICO would bounce back the week after.

The peak demand of electricity in the country is 2000MW.

“The moment these machines in Takoradi come back, we are adding 250 MW onto the grid. When these two machines in Takoradi come back on line that shortfall should be removed, all things being equal,” he said.

  Cause of current energy challenge
Mr Koffi said the shutdown of the two thermal plants in Takoradi contributed significantly to the current energy challenge in the country.

Aside the plants, he said, gas supply from Nigeria had been erratic, and indicated that Nigeria had cut down supply by 50 per cent.

“As a result we have 150 megawatts in Tema which we cannot operate because of inadequate supply from Nigeria,” he said.

Another major challenge, according to Mr Koffi, is the low water inflow into the lake to power electricity at Bui.

He said the current level of the lake was 243.44, which is just three feet above the minimum level.

“The flow into the lake last year was bad. This year we are hoping it will be better but the prognosis shows that it is not going to be anything too good.

“So as a result of the low inflow, Bui, which should have been able to generate some level of electricity, has also cut down. So now in the night we have to cut down energy supply to our customers because of the low inflow,” he said.

The level today is 243.44, which is just three feet above the minimum level.

“My assurance to Ghanaians is that things are going to be better. The challenge is as a result of low inflows, low gas from Nigeria and one or two technical challenges in Takoradi for TICO and VRA. And these things are not permanent; they will be over very soon and we should be okay,” he said.

  Tariff adjustments
Mr Koffi  said tariff adjustments would have to be done once the price of crude oil went up, coupled with the foreign exchange fluctuations.

“This is an indication for people who want to come to the sector that we mean what we say we are going to do,” he said.

Mr Koffi advised Ghanaians to use electricity wisely, since thermal generation, due to the purchase of crude oil, cost the country $3 million a day.

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