USAID Mission Director for Ghana, James A. Bever says the short-term measure that government has adopted to address the country’s power crisis by procuring power barges from Turkey would be expensive.
According to Mr Bever, government would have to commit a lot of funds to the project in order to assure the private operators of the power barges that they would be paid for their services in future.
USAID official made this known at roundtable discussion with journalists to highlight some accomplishments of the U.S. Mission in Ghana.
‘The options that your government has identified in trying to get some power barges mounted, which are basically mobile power generation equipment, is a short-term solution but it is going to be expensive and the country is going to have to come up with the funds to assure the suppliers that they are going to get paid because it is a private deal. The equipment runs on fossil fuel and it is going to cost you something,’ Mr. Bever stated.
The government had earlier announced that the two power barges would generate about 450 megawatts (MW) to help stabilize the situation.
The power barges are expected in the country by the end of April 2015.
He disclosed that apart from the procurement of the power barges, it would be difficult for government to come up with other short-term solutions without the resuscitation of the Takoradi Thermal plant.
‘The good news is the world oil prices have dropped in half so those refined products that are used to power those barges should be more affordable than it would have otherwise. But in the short-term, there is no other solution, the faster they can get the power plant operating again in Takoradi and adjust it to be able to burn oil, gas the better. To an extent Ghana can persuade Nigeria to honour its commitments in the West African Pipeline accord, that too would help the country,’ he said.
He however urged government to work hard to improve power generation capacity, which would take a few years but would address the country’s power crisis in the long term.
By Nii Ogbamey Tetteh
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