General News of Tuesday, 10 March 2015
The Minority in Parliament has defended former President Jerry Rawlings’ contribution to the energy sector during his time in Office.
The Legislators told Journalists at a press conference where they presented their version of the state of the nation that Mr Rawlings added at least 580 Megawatts to Ghana’s installed capacity by the time he left office in 2000.
The Minority’s reference to Mr Rawlings’ contribution comes on the heels of President John Mahama’s assertion during his state of the nation address that unlike his predecessors who merely managed the power crisis, he will fix the problem before leaving Office.
“That is most unkind and uncharitable especially to Rawlings and Kufuor,” the Minority said, adding: “Following the 1982 – 85 power crisis, VRA [state power producer Volta River Authority] came up with a researched paper that defined the architecture of sustainable power generation beyond 1985.
“The rehabilitation of the 30MW Diesel Power Plants at Tema which President Nkrumah had procured in 1961 but which had been lying fallow was done. In January 1998, under President Rawlings the 220MW Aboadze Thermal Power Plant (Takoradi 1 or T1) came on stream.
“In June 1999, a 110-MW Steam Turbine came on board – T1, to make it a combined cycle plant that was capable of generating 330 MW. In response to the 1998 – 2000 power crisis the Rawlings regime engaged Aggreko Plc to generate and supply 30MW into the system.
“Rawlings’ government in 1998, meanwhile further expanded the Aboadze Power complex to roll out additional 330MW. This was undertaken by Takoradi International Company (TICo) also referred to as Takoradi 2 or (T2).
“The Gas Turbines to deliver 220 MW of the total 330MW were completed and commissioned in year 2000. This is a joint venture between VRA and TAQA of Abu Dhabi (UAE). The remaining 110MW steam component is yet to be completed.
“One could conclude that Rawlings added at least about 580MW to the nation’s power generation and this does not include the emergency power generations.
“Mr. President, Rawlings was not merely managing or controlling or tinkering with the problem. He had started to confront the issue of sustainable power generation and utilisation!” Minority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu said Monday.
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.