Business News of Tuesday, 24 January 2017
Energy and Petroleum Minister-designate Boakye Agyarko has attributed the re-emergence of the power crisis to a lack of funds in the energy sector.
According to him, to end the power crisis which has come to be known locally as dumsor, government will have to improve financial management and structuring within the energy sector.
Mr Agyarko made this known when he appeared before parliament’s Appointments Committee in Accra on Monday January 23. “The problem of ‘dumsor’ has been principally one of money,” he told the committee.
“The energy sector we find now is seriously cash-strapped to the extent that we now live in a debt merry-go-round. If you look at the value chain of power delivery, the major power generator, that is Volta River Authority (VRA), and the Independent Power Producers (IPP) buy their crude, they generate power, load it onto GRIDCo. GRIDCo sells it to Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and ECG must collect the monies and pay. [But] ECG is not able to collect and pay GRIDCo. GRIDCo is not, therefore, able to pay the power producers. The power producers are, therefore, not able to pay for crude and, therefore, it limits their ability to generate power.
“As it stands now, roughly 40, 45 per cent of installed capacity is idle. It’s idle because we cannot get the gas, LCO, or the HFO to power these plants. In certain instances, we do not even have the money to do scheduled and regular maintenance, therefore threatening the plant in terms of warranty and insurance. So the problem has largely been one of how the money has been managed in the energy sector.”
In his view, in trying to end dumsor, “we have to improve the financial management and structuring within the energy sector and that is what I commit to do”.