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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Don’t ascribe DUMSOR to WAPCo’s gas supply challenges

Xatse Derick Emmanuel, a research and policy analyst at the Institute for Energy Security (IES), has indicated that Ghana’s power instability, known as ‘Dumsor’, is not a recent development but rather predates the current gas supply challenges announced by WAPCo.

According to Mr. Xatse, the country has been grappling with a power generation deficit of about 600 MW since the beginning of the year.

This is on the back of a joint statement by the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG),  announcing a three-week interruption in power supply due to a reduction in gas supply from Nigeria.

According to GRIDCo and ECG, the intermittent power supply is a result of the reduction in gas supply due to maintenance works being undertaken by a gas supplier in Nigeria and is projected to last three weeks.”

The maintenance has caused a reduction in overall power generation capacity in Ghana, which could result in load management over the course of the work.

However, the research analyst, Mr Xatse, pointed out in a statement that most of Ghana’s thermal plants have the capability to operate on alternative fuels such as Light Crude Oil, Heavy Fuel Oil, or Liquefied Petroleum Gas, aside from the Sunon-Asogli Power and AMERI plants, which rely solely on natural gas.

With adequate financial backing, he added, these plants could potentially meet and even surpass Ghana’s peak power demand.

“From January 2024 to June 4th, 2024, Ghana experiences a DUMSOR of about 600 MW.  With the new development, WAPCo has announced a gas supply challenge, causing ECG and GRIDCo to issue a joint press release, the end effect is that Ghana will experience more DUMSOR, meaning there will be a deficit in power generation beyond 600 MW. The other good news is that the thermal plants can operate on Light Crude Oil (LCO) or Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO).

“Apart from Sunon-Asogli Power (SAPP) and AMERI, which rely only on Natural Gas, the rest operate on either HFO, LCO, or LPG. Therefore, with proper financial capacity, Ghana should be able to generate enough power to meet its peak demand. Ghana has an installed generation capacity of 5,194 MW, excluding embedded generation, which correlates to a dependable capacity of 4,756 MW. This means that Ghana should be generating enough power to exceed its peak demand.

“… In conclusion, ECG and the government should not ascribe the DUMSOR to WAPCo’s gas supply challenges because we have already been generating power at a deficit of 600 MW even though WAPCo’s gas supply challenges will worsen the DUMSOR situation, but not when the majority of the thermal plants can operate on either HFO, LCO, or LPG in place of Natural Gas,” the statement noted.

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