Business News of 2014-02-20

Aboadze plant shut down

Electricity consumers are to experience further power outages because another generator at the Aboadze Power Plant has been shut down.

According to the Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo), the shutdown of the plant, which occurred on February 15, 2014 for repair works, had further reduced the electrical power available to serve consumers.

A statement signed by Mr Albert Kwesi Quainoo, the Head of Public Relations of GRIDCo, said repair works on the generator at Aboadze were originally expected to be completed on Sunday, February 16, 2014. However, due to some complications, the exercise would now be completed by Sunday, February 23, 2014.

It said expansion and maintenance works which were already going on at both the TICO and the VRA’s thermal plant at Aboadze were expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of this year when those generators would be restored to service.

Currently, all three units at the VRA’s Thermal Plant at Aboadze are not in service.

“The non-availability of this additional generator has worsened the power supply deficit, hence it will require GRIDCo to manage the load carefully to avoid a total shutdown of the system.

“This may result in some power curtailment during peak periods until the VRA generator is restored to service,” the statement said.

The GRIDCo, therefore, encouraged the public to conserve electricity by switching off appliances and equipment not in use.

Background

Last January, shortfalls in power supply from power producers led GRIDCo to prompt the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to embark on emergency power management exercise.

The power management exercise led to the offloading of between 70 and 200 megawatts of power from the national grid to consumers between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. on different occasions.

With issues such as shortage in crude oil, among other factors, the power plants have developed faults which need to be repaired.

Energy supply in Ghana

With a population of over 25 million, Ghana has an energy supply need of around 2,200 megawatts (MW) plus reserves of about 200MW.

The Akosombo Hydroelectric Power Plant supplies about 1,020MW of energy, followed by the Bui Dam, which produces 400MW; then the Aboadze Thermal Power Plant, which produces 360MW and the Takoradi Thermal Power Plant which produces 330MW.

Kpong produces 160MW, while the country’s first solar plant at Punga in the Upper East Region produces 2MW of power onto the national grid, giving the country a total of 2,272MW of combined electricity supply.

Thermal power plants to produce 500MW have been installed and inaugurated in Tema at various times. Some of them are public projects, but most of the capacity is private (Sunon Asogli — 200 MW) or semi-private (CENIT — 126 MW).

Several thermal generation projects totalling over 1,000MW are currently at various stages of development by both public and private operators.

These projects include Kpone (Alstom), Sunon Asogli Expansion, Takoradi 2 combined-cycle expansion, CENIT/TT1PP expansion and Takoradi 3 expansion.