Business News of Monday, 2 March 2015
Ghana’s energy sector needs private sector participation for energy sufficiency, the governing National Democratic Congress’ deputy Youth Organiser for the Greater Accra region Godwin Eduzi Tameklo has said.
“Energy generation must be a shared responsibility: I mean private sector participation,” he said Monday March 2, 2015 during a panel discussion with youth leaders of the various political parties about growing the next crop of leaders for Ghana.
Mr Tameklo said: “…At every point in time, what you need is a certain critical partnership between the private sector and the State so that once you have that partnership within the state, you create the enabling environment that a private individual can generate power, feed into the national system, [and if they] know that at the end of the day you’ll get the needed return – once you are able to demonstrate that – you can always get available power.”
Ghana is currently shedding between 400 and 700 Megawatts of power during off-peak and peak periods respectively as a result of a worsening power crisis.
The crisis has come about as a result of poor water levels in the three hydro-electric power stations: Akosombo, Bui and Kpon, lack of gas flow from the West Africa Gas Pipeline in Nigeria to thermal plants in Ghana for production as well as the breakdown of some plants.
The crisis is taking a toll on Industry, businesses and domestic consumers. Power Minister Dr Kwabena Donkor has promised to resign if he fails to resolve the crisis by the end of December this year.
In Mr Tameklo’s view, roping in private power generators by creating an enabling environment for them is Ghana’s surest bet of getting out of the crisis.
“Today as we speak, can we genuinely tell what the situation will be without Sunon Asogli? Can we tell today what the situation will be without the private sector? So we are saying that if we can get more of the Sunon Asoglis coming into generation, where they are assured of returns on their investments, we are certain that the challenges that we are having today will not be [there.]”
Sunon Asogli is an independent power plant owned by Shenzhen energy (60%) and China-Africa Development Fund (40%). It has an installed capacity of 200 Megawatts, and already contributing 180 Megawatts of power to the national grid. Works are ongoing on the plant that will enable it eventually generate some 360 megawatts of power.