$250million needed to implement Power Minister’s ‘daybreak’ promise

Power Minister’s plan to bring in emergency power barges to reduce blackouts in the country will require $250million, African Center for Energy Policy (ACEP) has assessed.

Sizing up the financial requirements associated with importing power barges, Programmes Director at the ACEP, Benjamin Boakye has cast doubt over Government’s ability to cough up the amount.

The energy expert was responding to a press conference held Monday at which the Power Minister Kwabena Donkor announced short term plans to generate 1000megawatts which he believes will end a three-year power crisis.

Kwabena Donkor said two power barges will be arriving by April this year which will together generate 450megawatts.

Government last year contracted Turkish power company, Karpower International Company, to bring in the barges.

However the Power Minister fell short of providing financial details of the contract.

Supplying the details, Benjamin Boakye said Government was supposed to pay a $50million advance payment to the company.

Government will also have to pay $200million into an escrow account to guarantee for 4 months power supply.

These two conditions, he said were not catered for in the 2015 budget, raising questions about the credibility of the plan.

“ I have my doubts…where are we going to get the money?”.

ACEP has also discounted the value of several power agreements entered into by government meant to solve the crisis.

According to ACEP, after signing Memoranda of Understanding, investors will now begin to look for money to fund the agreed power projects.

But with Ghana’s energy sector remaining unattractive, it will be difficult for investors to get funding agencies on board to implement agreements.

“We have always signed agreements…not even 10% of agreements that we have signed have materialized”, he noted.

Ghana needs over 2000 megawatts of power but energy production from all thermal and hydroelectric sources currently stands at 1,300 megawatts.

This has created a shortfall in supply and a public temper falling short on patience. Story by Ghana|Myjoyonline|Edwin Appiah|[email protected]

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