A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

Ghana: Be ready to pay more for power – Mahama

Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama.
Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama.

21 August 2015, Accra – President John Dramani Mahama has called on Ghanaian journalists to help the government to educate the people on how to use electricity judiciously, especially at this time when the country is going through serious energy crises.

According to him, the current challenges facing the country in its energy sector has compelled the government to look elsewhere for other sources of energy to bring to an end to the age-long problem of energy, which has plagued the country, making life difficult for its people.

President Mahama observed that the new power would be generated by virtually private enterprises and the fact that the cost of the thermal is more expensive than the hydro.

There is therefore the indication that prices of power will go high once these private companies complete their projects and start selling to ECG for onward supply to Ghanaians.

Speaking at the 2015 Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) awards which was held at the State House in Accra Saturday, President Mahama reiterated his promise to fix the energy crises permanently, a promise he is determined to keep.

He explained: “In the next several months, we expect the completion of the following projects, which will add about 1800 MW of generation capacity to our national grid.

“We are talking of the 225 MW power from Cal Power Plant and the necessary preparatory works are currently ongoing. We are talking about the 250 MW power from the Ameri project in Takoradi, which is a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOT) arrangement, and the civil works are nearing completion.

“We are talking 370 MW power from the Arksa project which was recently approved by parliament before it rose, we are talking about the 110 MW TEI project whose commercial contract has also been approved by parliament, we are talking about another 300 MW GE Eli power project for which a commercial agreement is currently being reviewed. This is an addition to supply from projects that we have been working on over the last few years.

“KTPP, which is the Kpone Generating Plant, which is expected to be completed in November and will add 220 MW to our generation and the Asogli plant phase II, which should add 360 MW to our generation by the middle of next year”, he noted.

The President continued “Additional capacity and generation must be accompanied by more security in fuel supply. In addition to gas from the West Africa Gas Pipeline, Atuabo and the planned gas in the near future from ENI and Cosmos gas reserves, VRA is also constructing new FSRU to floating storage reserved re-gasification unit to allow us have LLD as another alternative source of fuel for reliable power supply”.

Explaining further, President Mahama said Akosombo Hydro Power station has an installed power capacity of 1,020MW, Kpong is 160 MW and Bui at peak hours has installed capacity of 400MW, with total combined hydro power of 1,580 MW.

“What this means is that if all these projects I recounted above come on track by the end of next year, we would have installed on a fast track basis more thermal power than Akosombo, Kpong and Bui combined.

President Mahama observed that the new power would be generated by virtually private enterprises and the fact that the cost of the thermal is more expensive than the hydro.

There is therefore the indication that prices of power will go high once these private companies complete their projects and start selling to ECG for onward supply to Ghanaians.

“Going forward therefore, our main source of power supply is going to be thermal. With the change in world climate and the lower and lower inflows into our hydro dams, hydro power will increasingly become a supplementary supply rather than our main source of power.

“We are therefore from existing projections, going to depend a lot more on non-hydro sources to meet our ever growing demand for electricity and also; take note, most of the new generation in thermal power that we are bringing into the system is generated from private sector investment, not state.

“The question we ask too is whether the tariffs we pay are realistic to compensate the power utility companies for generating and delivering power to our doorsteps. These are the harsh realities and truths we must face or else we will find ourselves back here again in the near future.

“Another president will be standing here and speaking about these same things, if we don’t face these harsh realities.

Continuing, President Mahama said after the Dumsor has been solved as a result of the introduction of the thermal power and investments -“can we, as a nation sustain this with the current inefficiency in downstream distribution where nearly 30 percent of power is lost from transmission loses, a loss from power theft and plenty from non-collection of revenues.

“Is ECG, a wholly state owned enterprise, properly positioned in terms of efficiency, logistics and attitudes to ensure optimal collection of revenue to pay for this new generation we are putting into the network?

He hinted that it is obvious that the whole power value chain must be reformed to give Ghanaians a reliable power system that keeps in tandem with the country’s fast growing appetite and demand for power.

“We cannot continue a situation where officials whose responsibility it is to ensure efficient revenue collection for their agencies accept money to help clients steal power or consume power at a reduced cost.

“The more people who steal power or refuse to pay their bills, the more expensive power is for the few who pay, and the more difficult it is for us to maintain sustained power supply”, he noted.

At the end of the awards night, Multimedia’s Seth Kwame Boateng was adjudged the 2014 GJA/Prof. P. A. V. Ansah Journalist of the Year. His television and radio documentary on the Nsawam Maximum Security prisons that exposed the plight of prisoners, especially those on remand, won him the overall best award.

Seth Kwame Boateng’s documentaries last year touched the heart of the Chief Justice, Madam Theodora Woode, which led to massive changes in the prisons as well and how to handle remand prisoners. He earlier on won three awards, before topping it up with the overall best.
*Richard Kofi Attenkah – The Chronicle

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