Gov’t Rents Out ‘Kufuor’ Plants

At a time when every megawatt of power is needed to resolve the power crisis to lessen the plight of Ghanaians, Government has rented 10 CAT power plants-on-wheels belonging to the Volta River Authority (VRA) to Sierra Leone at a cost of $2,500 per plant over an unspecified period of time.

A minority member of the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, Kennedy Nyarko Osei, who disclosed this to StarrFMonline in an interview Friday in Accra, said Dr Kwabena Donkor, Minister of Power confirmed the development to Parliament on Thursday when he appeared before the aforementioned committee.

‘He has confirmed that they’ve given them to Sierra Leone.’

The 1-megawatt capacity containerized plants were part of a 126-Megawatt consignment imported into the country by the Kufuor administration in 2007 to help mitigate a similar power crisis.

However, these were described by former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the VRA, Dr Charles Wereko-Brobbey as ‘toy machines’ and have since been kept at the VRA yard at Tema.

There are between 50 and 60 plants at the VRA yard, which are deteriorating as a result of the inability to fuel them to generate power.

Visits to the VRA yard revealed that already scores of the plants have been offered to some health posts and other state agencies for use as emergency plants.

Also, dozens of the CAT generators were said to have been brought out in the yard and were being packaged for shipment.

Power producers, transmitters and distributors are currently shedding between 440 and 650 Megawatts of power during off-peak and peak periods as a result of the worsening situation as against a planned 250 and 350 Megawatts.

The Energy Commission also revealed that the country’s installed generation capacity for grid supply as at the end of 2013 was about 2,936 Megawatts.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) last week announced that it would hold series of meetings to put pressure on government to find practicable solutions to the country’s power challenges.

It indicated that some employers have started laying off their workers and that could worsen the unemployment rate in the country with implications for national security.

By Samuel Boadi

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