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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Dumsor predates WAPCO’s gas supply challenges

A man looks out from a window while talking to a person during the power cut in Colombo, Sri Lanka March 30, 2022. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

Ghana has been experiencing Dumsor long before the recent gas supply challenges announced by WAPCo .

Credible data available, representing total system power generation at peak periods (10 pm), shows that Ghana has been experiencing power generation deficits throughout this year.

This was evident even before WAPCo’s announcement, which is expected to further increase the generation deficits (more DUMSOR).

As of December 26, 2023, Ghana’s system peak load stood at 3,618 MW, representing a  4.3% increase from the 2022 recorded peak demand.  In 2024, system peak load is estimated to be 3,788 MW, reflecting a 4.7%  increase from 2023 Energy Commission  report 2024. This means that, Ghana’s peak demand is expected to be around 3788 MW. Therefore, any power generation below 3788 MW will result in DUMSOR.

Power generation at 10:00 PM represents the peak system power generation and the  10:00 PM also represents the peak demand period of power.  System peak power generation has an average value of 3188.12 MW (January to June 4th). Monthly averages at these time were January 2024 =3162.45 MW, February 2024 = 3276.00 MW, March 2024 = 3154.73 MW, April 2024 = 3199.50 MW, May 2024 = 3161.29 MW, and June 2024 = 3101.33 MW.

1. The  system  peak  power  generation  represents  power  generated  for  both  domestic  usage and  export.

2. The  total  demand  peak  also  includes  power  demanded  domestically  and  for  export.

3. The  average  power  generated  at  peak  periods  (10  pm)  from  January  to  June  4th,  2024, stands  at  3188.12  MW.  This  figure  is  far  below  the  peak  demand  for  even  2023,  recorded on  December  26th,  2023,  at  3618  MW,  let  alone  meeting  the  peak  demand  projected  at 3788  MW  for  2024 based  on  the  energy  commissions  report.

4. This  means  that  from  January  to  June  4th,  2024,  Ghana  has  never  been  able  to  meet  its peak  demand where  its  power  generated  (supply)  will  meet  the  peak  demand. There  is  a deficit  in  power  generation  between  429.88  MW  and  599.88  MW  when  using  the  2023 peak  demand  of  3618  MW  or  the  projected  peak  demand  of  3788  MW,  respectively.

5. Therefore,  a  deficit  in  power  generation  of  600  MW is  accounting  for  the  DUMSOR.  From January  2024  to  June  4th,  2024,  Ghana  experiences  DUMSOR  of  about  600  MW.

6. With  the  new  development  where  WAPCo  has  announced  a  gas  supply  challenge,  causing ECG  and GRIDCo  to issue  a joint  press release,  th end  effect  is  that  Ghana  will  experience more  DUMSOR,  meaning  there  will  be  a  deficit  in  power  generation  beyond  600  MW.

7. 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.

8. 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.

About the author: Xatse Derick Emmanuel is a Research and Policy Analyst at the Institute For Energy Security-IES.

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