Business News of 2014-03-19

Power outages intensify

Power generation and supply in Ghana has reduced by 270 megawatts due to the shutdown of Asogli Power Plant and the Mines Reserve Plant.

This has led to an emergency load management, as consumers of electricity are forced to sleep in the dark or lose power during the day without prior notice from the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

The recent erratic power supply, according to the power providers, was also due to the reduction in the supply of gas from Nigeria, among other factors, to power thermal plants at Takoradi to complement power produced from the Akosombo Hydro-electric Dam.

As a result of this, ECG is expected to announce a timetable for a load-shedding exercise soon.

Speaking to a group of Ghanaian clergymen at Flagstaff House in Accra on Monday, President John Mahama said he had sent Energy Minister, Kofi Armah Buah, to Nigeria to meet the management of the West African Gas Pipeline Company over the shortfall in the supply of gas from Nigeria.

According to him, his administration was concerned about power supply in the country.

After enduring erratic power supply in 2013, consumers, who expected an improved power supply this year due to numerous assurances given by the President and the Energy Minister, have expressed disappointment in the authorities.

The Volta River Authority (VRA) Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) and ECG – producers, transmitters and distributors in the power sector respectively, have formally announced a “temporary load management” exercise beginning March 17 due to generation challenges.

According to Dr Charles Wereko-Brobbey, Chief Policy Analyst at the Ghana Institute of Policy Options (GIPPO), the instability in the country’s power sector could be attributed to the lack of will by government to execute adopted plans.