General News of Friday, 6 March 2015
President John Mahama is not the creator of the current erratic power situation (dumsor) in the country, Minister of state at the presidency Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah has told Ultimate 106.9fm’s political flagship programme ‘What’s Going On’ hosted by Dr Richard Amoako Baah, head of the political science department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi.
Appearing on a special edition of the programme on Thursday night, Mr Afriyie-Ankrah said although the President, as the current leader of the country, has accepted responsibility for the problem, “the truth is that he didn’t create the problem.”
Ghana is currently reeling under a load shedding problem, which has resulted from a shortfall of about 700 Megawatts in production, which has been attributed to poor water levels in the three hydro-electric power stations: Akosombo, Bui and Kpong Dams, as well as lack of gas from the West Africa Gas Pipeline in Nigeria to power thermal plants in Ghana.
The breakdown of some plants and the shutdown of others for routine maintenance concerns have also compounded the problem.
In his recent state of the nation address, President Mahama promised that his Government will add to the current installed capacity, 3,665Megawatts in the next five years as part of plans towards fixing the problem.
“Additionally, completion of planned steam generation units on some current single cycle plants namely TT1, CENIT and KTPP would add another 330 Megawatts to our generation,” Mr Mahama said, adding: “When this planned addition of 3,800 Megawatts to our generation is realised, it will assure our energy security into the future.”
In addition to these medium-term measures, President Mahama’s Government has also planned short-term measures including: the importation from Turkey, of two power barges of a combined capacity of 450 Megawatts at a cost of $250 Megawatts; the purchase of 250 Megawatts from the Emirates; as well as General Electric’s expected supply of 300 Megawatts.
In Mr Afriyie-Ankrah’s view, all the short term measures will help mitigate the problem by the end of the year.