02 September 2013, Accra – Chairman of the Board of Directors of Volta River Authority, VRA, Prof Akilakpa Sawyerr, has blamed the state-owned power generating firm’s net income loss of GH¢90.2 million on the doubling of unit cost of every kilowatt of electricity produced and use of expensive light crude oil and occasionally diesel because of unavailability of gas during last year’s power crisis in the country.
He added that VRA recorded 2012 Net Income Loss of GH¢90.2 million, compared to a Net Profit of GH¢82.6 million in 2012 which was due to the above.
“Though revenue from sale of electricity rose from GH¢ 1,111 million in 2011 to GH¢ 1,749 million in 2012 – an increase of 58%, this was offset by an over 200% increase in the cost of crude oil required to run our plants”, Prof Sawyerr further emphasized.
He was, however, quick to add that over the period under review (2012), government paid GH¢361 million to VRA to make up for the acknowledged shortfall in tariff, saying it was effectively a subsidy to domestic power consumers in the country.
The Minister for Energy and Petroleum, Emmanuel Armah Kofi-Buah commended the VRA for its immense contributions to the country’s energy sector especially at the time the country was faced with difficulties in gas supply.
Describing the Authority as the ‘country’s cornerstone’, the Minister commended the VRA for their proactive decisions in the heat of the power crisis.
“It is gratifying to note that even before government could think of an alternative fuel apart from gas, VRA had made an earlier move to import Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG, to fuel their equipments in order to curb the situation”, he stated in his remarks at the 4th Annual Stakeholders Meeting of the Authority in Accra.
The Chief Executive Officer of the VRA, Kweku Andoh Awotwi, for his part, urged stakeholders to continue to support the Authority as it is now well placed to address any challenge that befalls it, adding that “the VRA you know today is better placed to handle its affairs better than the VRA we had some fifteen years ago”.
Mr. Awotwi decried calls for separation of VRA from the Northern Electricity Distribution Company, NEDCO, stating that it is important for the two institutions to work together to attract the necessary resources to minimize the inefficiencies and distribution loss in the sector than for them to operate separately.
The meeting saw representatives from the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, including Deputy Minister John Jinapor and some Directors at the Ministry, and other representatives from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, External Auditors-KPMG and other management members of VRA all making various contribution about their performances during the year under review.
– The Chronicle