Business News of 2014-03-04

Electricity now expensive in Ghana - Energy Minister

The Minister for Energy and Petroleum, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, has called on power utilities to intensify public education on energy conservation.

According to him, Ghanaians need to ingrain energy conservation attitudes into their daily activities and help to sustain the supply of adequate power.

“We have had a situation in the early days in Ghana where electricity was so abundant that we missed the opportunity of inculcating energy conservation habits,” he said, adding that the time has come to realize that electricity is now very expensive.

The Minister was speaking at a meeting with bulk customers, including mining companies, and the Power Utilities – the Volta River Authority (VRA), the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) – in Accra on Friday. February 28.

The meeting was convened to discuss the acute power shortfall during peak periods resulting partly from the erratic gas supply from Nigeria and some generation units shutdown for maintenance.

The discussions focused on moves to reduce power supply to bulk customers during peak periods for the month of March after which normal supply is expected to be restored.

This is to prevent any form of load management or load shedding.

While acknowledging that the government and the utilities have a role to play in sustaining the country’s energy sector, the Minister called on Ghanaians to “switch off their appliances when not in use so as to conserve power”, adding that that was the major way in which citizens can take control of their consumption and help government to sustain supply.

The Minister said one of the challenges the country was facing include the availability of fuel for the power plants, hence the decision to form the ‘first gas task force’ to ensure early delivery of gas from the Jubilee field.

He stated further that the development of the TEN project and the Sankofa Gye Nyame fields will in the medium to long term secure fuel to run the plants, adding that alternative fuel sources such LNG are also being explored.