Prepare for longer blackouts as ECG is forced to shed record 500 megawatts


Consumers have been asked to brace themselves for longer hours of blackouts starting Thursday morning as the Electricity Company of Ghana is forced to shed a record estimated 500 megawatts of electricity.

Following an abrupt cut in the supply of gas from Nigeria, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Grid Company, William Amuna told Joy News, Ghana will from today begin shutting down all gas powered thermal plants across the country.

“We are now relying on the gas stored in the pipeline and as we deplete: that means we will have to shut down those plants. It is important that we go into serious conservation of energy”, he said.

The thermal plants to be shut down are Asogli plant, Mines Reserve Plant, Finesse plant all in Tema and T3 in Aboadze.

The latest round of shut downs means the range of load shedding of 100 to 200 megawatts by ECG, will jump to a record 500 megawatts.

At least three plants will be taken off line this morning after Nigeria stopped supplying gas to Ghana. With this cut, all the other gas powered thermal plants will have to be shut down.

He says this will be the first time in a long while since they have been forced to shed this amount of electricity.

“I just can’t remember that last time we did that. The last time when we lost the gas pipeline completely, we had plants that were running on light crude oil that were very functional”.

But all these plants have since broken down and are under repairs.

ECG is expected to address a news conference later today on the crisis.

The unreliability of the West African Gas pipeline has once again been tested after in March this year, Nigeria failed to meet its gas supply obligations by more than 50 per cent of the contractual volume agreed with Ghana. It forced the Energy and Petroleum Minister, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah to fly to Nigeria to rectify the situation

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has stopped gas supply to Ghana through the West African Gas Pipeline, as a result of the ongoing indefinite strike by staff.

The online newspaper Newmail-ng.com has reported that the NNPC branches of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, embarked on the strike after failing to resolve a dispute with the management of the corporation over pension and other issues.

“I understand there is no gas flowing into the West African Gas Pipeline due to the strike by the oil workers in the NNPC,” the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, West African Gas Pipeline Company, Harriet Wereko-Brobby, said.

Nigeria is contractually bound to supply 120 million cubic feet per day of gas to Ghana through the transnational gas pipeline. But the supply through the WAGP fell to about 30 mmscfd earlier in the year.

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