Civil Society Group, The Energy and Associates says it is strongly against the government’s plans of relocating the Ameri Thermal Plant from Aboadze to Anwomaso in Kumasi, Ashanti Region.
According to the group, the move is “wasteful” and “unnecessary” given the fact that government is finding it very difficult to pay debts it owes in the energy sector.
A statement issued by the CSO, states that a memo it has sighted and signed by Energy Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh also reveals that the Minister has directed that pipelines to transmit natural gas for the Plant be extended from Nyinahin to Kumasi by Thursday, September 30, a move the group describes “overly ambitious.”
“We have sighted a memo from the energy ministry signed by the Energy Minister, Mathew Opoku Prempeh to GNPC on an agreed plan to relocate the Ameri Thermal Plant from Aboadze to Anwomaso in Kumasi. This will also necessitate the supply of natural gas between 50mmscfd to 75mmscfd at a minimum pressure of 41bar. What this means is that GNPC – Genser Energy Ghana Ltd pipeline would have to be extended from Nyinahin to Kumasi to be able to transmit natural gas to the plant. First of all, we find this relocation very wasteful and unnecessary, at a time government is finding it very difficult to pay debts owed in the energy sector and also that deadlines given are overly ambitious,” the statement noted.
The group explains that the load between Kumasi and Kintampo which was about 400MW on a 161kV line is being improved to a 330kV line.
According to the group, upon completion of the Kumasi-Kintampo 330kV lines among other projects such as 330/34.5kV Substation at Pokuase, 161kV Volta-Achimota-Mallam lines and 161kV Kasoa Substation, the voltage in the middle belt of the country will improve significantly and will render the Ameri relocation somewhat unnecessary.
The Energy and Associates thus urged government to rather assist GRIDCo to place priority on strengthening the transmission infrastructure by upgrading most of the critical loads which are on 161kVlines into 330kV lines and converting all the radial lines into ring circuits.
“The transformation capacity within the entire country is approximately 8,900MVA with a corresponding installed generating capacity of some 5,000MW. Out of this 5,000MW, the dependable capacity according to the 2021 Electricity Supply Plan is about 4,363MW. With the maximum peak demanded recorded so far in 2021 as being 3,200MW, it implies that the transformation capacity in the country is adequate enough to cater for any demand at the request of consumers. Government, therefore, does not need to relocate the Ameri plant to Kumasi at this point as the relocation will require an investment to counter the effect of higher voltage upon completion of Anwomaso – Kintampo 330kV lines. Instead, government should assist Gridco to place priority on strengthening the transmission infrastructure by upgrading most of the critical loads which are on 161kV lines into 330kV lines, and converting all the radial lines into ring circuits,” it added,
Below is the full statement: