Business News of 2014-05-15

Bui shutdown latest blow to power situation

The ongoing power rationing, due to inadequate generation in the country, shows no sign of abating as two units of the Bui hydro-electric dam had to be shutdown on Wednesday.

The shutdown means electricity consumers will experience further power cuts to their homes and offices in the days ahead.

The Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) on Wednesday morning requested the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to shed between 110 megawatts between 09:00-18:00hours, according to information available to the B&FT.

GRIDCo attributed the request to an “emergency shutdown of Bui units 1 and 2”.

The importance of Bui lies in its supplementary role as a peaking plant that comes on-stream during peak hours to augment what is produced by the Volta River Authority, CENIT and Sunon Asogli power plants.

The VRA, which has a total installed capacity of 2,100 megawatts, generates about 1,600 megawatts of electricity every day. This is augmented by about 400 megawatts of combined generation from Bui, CENIT and Sunon Asogli.

The Bui project started in 2007 with a loan from the Chinese government but experienced a shortfall in project funding arising primarily from the unanticipated effects of the recent global economic crunch, unforeseen essential works, and inadequacy of budgetary allocations for some line items in the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract.

Government however secured additional funding totalling US$168.4million from the Eximbank in China to complete the project.

The country has been experiencing serious power challenges over the past two years. In recent months, the inadequate generation was attributed to the erratic flow of gas from gas fields in Nigeria via the West African Gas Pipeline and unavailability of some thermal plants.

Last week, power plants TP47, Cenit, Tico 2, Tapco 1 and part of Sonun Asogli’s generation were unavailable due to maintenance. This led to deeper power cuts countrywide as about 140 megawatts of load had to be shed to stabilise the system.

Source: B&FT
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