General News of Saturday, 19 December 2015
It is a matter of public record that the John Mahama government has promised Ghanaians that it will end the nation’s four-year-old power crisis by close of 2015.
But Citi News can report that Ghanaians may spend the upcoming Christmas holidays and the following months in an atmosphere of intense power outages and severe power rationing.
This is because the state-run Ghana Gas, which supplies lean gas to Volta River Authority (VRA) to generate some 220 MW of power from thermal sources in the Western Region is to shut down its operations by December 25.
Officials of Ghana Gas made this information available in a report it presented to the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament on Friday.
This would knock off 220 MW of power from the national grid, forcing possible intensification of power rationing in the country.
The company is facing a double-whammy, involving a facility insurance that expires on December 25, 2015, and a faulty compressor that needs urgent replacement.
Renewing the insurance policy covering the plant will cost Ghana Gas 2.5 million dollars whereas replacing the compressor will cost the company 8 million dollars. Although Ghana Gas is a profit making entity on paper and should be able to meet the two financial obligations without a whimper, a huge debt owed it by the Volta River Authority (VRA) means the gas producing giant is broke and can’t pay for its insurance policy let alone replace the faulty compressor.
The new challenge means that the Ameri Power plants, believed to have been procured under controversial circumstances and the 225 Karpower Power Barge which recently docked at the Port of Tema, may not be able to serve their purpose fully.