General News of Monday, 9 March 2015
The Minority in Parliament has refuted an assertion made by President John Mahama in his state of the nation address that his predecessors merely managed the cyclical power crisis without any attempts to find a lasting solution to the problem.
Presenting the address to Parliament on February 26, 2015, Mr Mahama promised that his Government will add an additional 3,665 megawatts to the power grid, adding that the Government intends focusing more on thermal rather than hydro-electric power sources.
He said unlike his predecessors, who managed the situation, “I John Dramani Mahama will fix this power crisis.”
Ghana is currently shedding between 400 and 700 Megawatts of power between off-peak and peak periods due to a shortfall in production which has been attributed to lack of gas supply to thermal plants across the country from the West Africa Gas Pipeline in Nigeria, as well as poor hydrology of the three main hydro-electric power stations: Akosombo, Bui and Kpong.
Also, the breakdown of some thermal plants while others are undergoing maintenance at the same time, have also been blamed for the problem as well as the lack of money to buy crude oil to fuel some of the thermal plants.
Presenting what the Minority called the “true state of the nation address” at a press conference Monday, Minority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu said the President’s claim that his predecessors merely managed the problem was not true.
According to the Suame MP, former President John Kufuor was able to add about 1,452 Megawatts to the country’s installed capacity during his two terms in Office.
He said the Kufuor administration also saved the country additional 120 Megawatts through policies that ensured that all homes used power-saving bulbs. In addition to these, Mr Mensah Bonsu said the importation of containerised CAT generating plants in 2007 during a similar energy crisis to add 126 Megawatts to the production capacity meant that the former President bequeathed to the country, a total of 1,698 Megawatts of installed capacity.
He said the slightly more than 1-Megawatt capacity containerised plants, “which we are told are on their way to Sierra Leone” could have been helpful to the country.