Regional News of 2014-03-16

Impending load shedding: Mahama pleads for patience

President John Mahama has described as temporary, the current energy crisis being experienced in the country.

This follows plans by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to undertake a load shedding programme from next week.

The load management was necessitated by the erratic supply of gas from Nigeria through the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) to power thermal plants in Ghana.

This means the 220 megawatts of power guaranteed by the Sunon Asogli Plant to boost the power supply situation in the country is not forth coming.

President Mahama stated that the Volta River Authority (VRA) has ordered for repair works to start on the “unforeseen act” –the TACO engine break down.

Also, a mechanical fault to the TACO plant has lead to 145 megawatts of power being taken off the country’s generation mix.

The third challenge is the ongoing engineering work to couple the Takoradi TICO plant to give it a combined cycle and increase its capacity by another 110 megawatts.

“On (March) 20, the original unit will be set up again and that will bring another 12 megawatts back into the system,” he explained.

Addressing the Western Regional House of Chiefs as part of his three-day tour of the region, the President called on Ghanaians to remain patient as government works tirelessly to address the crisis.

“We are suffering all these ups and downs temporarily while we guarantee and ensure that going forward things will be better because we will have our own gas 120million standard cubic feet,” he said.