General News of Wednesday, 4 February 2015
New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Adansi Asokwa, Kobina Tahir Hammond has expressed shock at claims by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) communicators that his party did not add a single megawatt to Ghana’s energy generation during their eight-year rule.
According to him, such claims by NDC communicators are totally untrue, and is challenging the NDC and its communicators to openly come out to prove their claims.
“I am throwing a challenge to my NDC folks to come meet me with all documents that prove that the NPP never added a single megawatt to Ghana’s energy generation mix…I am ever prepared to prove that person wrong…,” he said.
The Deputy Minister of Energy under the NPP government said this on the maiden weeknight edition of political talk show, Kukurantumi, which comes off from 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM every Tuesday night on Asempa 94.7 FM.
Government communicators have persistently blamed the erstwhile Kufuor administration for the current power crisis which is fast crippling the nation’s economy.
But these claims, according to the Legislator who served as a deputy energy minister during the entire eight-year rule of the NPP government, is ‘factually incorrect’.
He further called on Ghanaians to lay the blame for the current difficulties at the doorstep of the NDC government, who he says, have ‘only added 2 megawatts of power to Ghana’s installed capacity’ in its six years of governance .
“The two megawatts of the NDC are from Solar panels installed at Navrongo…,” he said.
As at January 7, 2009 when the NPP exited power, K.T Hammond said Ghana had an installed capacity of 1810 out of the 2845 megawatts which exist currently.
The Legislator mentioned that the NPP government contributed significantly to generating the difference of 1035 megawatts added since then.
Referring from his handing over notes at the Energy Ministry, K.T Hammond said the NPP government, out of the 2007 Eurobond proceeds, funded the installation of the Tema Thermal Plant (TT1PP) which was implemented by Volta River Authority (VRA) as part of the medium term generation strategy.
He continued that the project which was substantially completed and started operating in 2009, added 126 megawatts to Ghana’s energy demand.
A Thermal Plant at Kpone in the Greater Accra Region with installed Gas Turbines and other equipment by a company called Zachem International was also started in 2008, and was scheduled for commissioning in the first half of 2009 to also add 230 megawatts of energy to the national demand.
Tema Thermal Plant 2 (TT2PP), Bui Dam, Mines Reserve plant also contributed 50, 400 and 80 megawatts of power to the national demand, respectively.
Two other plants, Asogli and Senate, he mentioned, were also started by the Kufuor administration to add 220 and 128 megawatts, respectively.
“Kufuor’s time, 2008, was when we started T3, but the NDC delayed and it was until 2014 that the plant was commissioned…,” he said.
The Takoradi-based plant broke down sometime after it was commissioned in 2014.
According to K.T Hammond, the T3 broke down as a result of poor supervision on the part of the NDC administration when they took over the reins of power.
“Together, the NPP helped with an installed capacity of 1258 megawatts out of the difference…hence, I am shocked the NDC always condemned my party on energy crisis….”
Akosombo Dam, he said, had an initial capacity of 912 megawatts, but the NPP funded the VRA to do a retrofitting of the dam and helped increase its capacity to 1020; thus adding about 128 megawatts.
The NPP Legislator said he was quite shocked Ghanaians were still sleeping in darkness despite Ghana’s peak demand of 2400 megawatts which is less than the 2845 installed capacity.
He said the unfortunate situation has come about as a result of a failure of the government to give the VRA the needed amount of money to repair all broken down machines.
“The VRA despite assurances from government has also not been offered the needed money to buy crude to power the plants…,” he said.
The solution to the current energy crisis, K.T Hammond continued is for government to ‘borrow money’ to repair the broken down power generation plants.
He advised the government to learn from past experiences and acquire emergency plants to help solve the problem.
The Power Minister, Kwabena Donkor, can only succeed if he gets the needed funding from the government.