Business News of Monday, 23 January 2017
The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has stressed Ghana’s power supply situation is in a “fragile state” despite assurances from the Volta River Authority (VRA).
Head of policy at ACEP Dr Ishmael Ackah told Joy News on Monday that all that stands between a return to the era of the erratic power supply is 98 MW.
Despite an installed power capacity of 3,800, Ghana’s power generation mix is producing 1842MW with a total demand is about 1740MW.
It means if generation capacity falls below 98MW, ECG would have to “on a place and off a place as we used to have”, Dr. Ackah said.
Breaking down the challenges, Ghana’s gas supplier FPSO is set to go for repairs next month resulting in a gas cut to Ameri which generate 220MW.
Reserve plants Asogli and Kpong in the Tema enclave rely on gas from Nigeria.
But with a debt around $185 million as at November 2016, getting more gas from Nigeria means Ghana would have to lower its debt profile with the West African giant.
In effect, money will be key in keeping at bay an erratic power supply regime which lasted 2012 to 2015.
Without gas for Ameri, Asogli or Kpong thermal plants, consumers also rely on TAPCO 1&2 thermal plants in Takoradi in the Western region which uses LCO.
Anxiety about reliable power has re-surfaced after the VRA revealed the Takoradi Thermal Plant Stations (TAPCO 1&2) are off the grid for repairs and maintenance. This translates into a loss of 330MW of power.
This is because the contractor for the VRA’s long-term service agreement refused to carry out a major inspection. It was to pressurise government to pay a $2 million debt owed it.
But Head of Corporate Communications at the VRA, Gertrude Koomson has explained, the power generator is in the position to manage the situation.
“We have no doubt as we speak today…we have put in place adequate preparations. We enough LCO to even last us two months,” she stressed.