Business News of 2014-04-03

Energy crisis to continue until 2016 – VRA boss

The current energy crisis is not going to end anytime soon, the Volta River Authority (VRA) has said.

According to the authority, the energy crisis could continue until 2016 or 2017.

At a business luncheon organised by the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) yesterday in Accra to discuss the power situation and its repercussions on industries, Kirk Koffi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Volta River Authority, disclosed that the energy crisis might continue until 2016 or 2017 if the erratic gas supply from Nigeria was not tackled appropriately.

“There will be a shortfall in supply of energy by 2015 and 2016. The reason is that we are not getting the right volume of gas from Nigeria needed to run our machines and some of our machines are also down,” Mr. Koffi said.

“We are trying to resolve the problem but it’s not easy because Nigeria herself is facing the same crisis and that being the case they can’t supply us and forget themselves,” he added.

Commenting on the possible measures to be adopted in solving the crisis, Mr. Koffi indicated that the government was negotiating with China to set up a clean coal energy plant in the country.

According to him, the use of clean coal in producing energy for the country would result in sharp fall in electricity tariffs, stressing that clean coal was much cheaper than fuel and gas.

“We need about one cargo of fuel every month to carry out our operations and the amount needed for that is not less than $50 million. The energy sector cannot afford this cost which makes VRA to continually run into debts through borrowing from banks,” he said.

He cited growth in demand for electricity in the country as one of the causes of the current energy crisis.

“Growth in demand over the years was 7 to 9 percent. But last year growth in demand increased to 12 percent,” he said.

However, Mr. Koffi noted that Ghana was still supplying about four percent of electricity to the two countries.

Nigeria recently made an appeal to DR. Congo for electricity.

Above all, Nigeria has started its $20 billion Trans-Saharan project, which when completed, would transport about 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Nigeria’s Warri to Europe and it would mean that its gas supply, which is estimated at four percent, might reduce further from the current supply.

But the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Emmanuel Kofi Buah has continually assured Ghanaians that the problems would be resolved.

Meanwhile, J. Asare Adjei, President of AGI pleaded with VRA and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to immediately address the problems to lessen the burden of members of the association.

Source: Daily Guide
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