General News of 2014-05-28

Energy situation will not get any better – KT Hammond

A former Deputy Energy Minister, KT Hammond says he fully agrees with the World Bank’s assertion that Ghana’s energy challenges will worsen.

“It [power situation] is bad, it is bad…everything I hear points to the fact that it’s not getting any better,” Mr. Hammond said on Eyewitness News.

A senior energy specialist at the World Bank Ghana Office, Sunil Matrani in an earlier interview with Citi News pointed out that with low rain levels and delays in the completion of planned power projects, Ghana’s power situation is set to worsen.

In July 2013, the World Bank released a report on the country’s energy and petroleum sectors.

They subsequently advised government to improve upon the technical and efficiency of utility providers with particular attention on the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

On Eyewitness News on Wednesday, Mr. Hammond stated that despite the Presidents’ numerous assurances to Ghanaians that the power crisis will soon be resolved, “things are not going to get any better; they are going to get worse.”

The Adansi Asokwa Legislator made reference to the Volta River Authority’s (VRA) statement that it is unsure when the power situation will be resolved and so the current erratic power supply will go on for a while.

Mr. Hammond agreed that the failure of Nigeria to supply Ghana with adequate gas is a huge contributing factor to the energy crisis.

“One would have thought that if we had the full complement of it [gas from Nigeria], it will go a long way to solving some of the problems, so I concede that we are not getting that lot,” he said.

The former deputy Minister was, however, quick to add that the excuse of low supply of gas from Nigeria is “neither here nor there.”

He explained saying, “at a point in time when the Kufuor administration was experiencing negotiations for the construction and the completion of the West African Gas pipeline, we did not have one drop of gas from Nigeria, yet, we produced enough electricity in the country.”

The Minority Spokesperson on Energy indicated he has no sympathies for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government and charged them to deal with the situation because “we [Kufuor government] did it when we didn’t have it [gas from Nigeria].”

Regarding the delayed completion of power projects like the Aboadze thermal plant, Mr. Hammond said the thermal plant “is bedeviled with fundamental difficulties and sooner or later, we are going to go to the Supreme Court on this matter.”

He disclosed that the project although is of paramount importance to Ghana, it has no Parliamentary approval and “the Supreme Court says that for it to pass the test of validity, that contract agreement has to go to Parliament.”

Mr. Hammond asked, “what is NDC government afraid of, what are they running away from” in their failure to present the contract to Parliament.

Source: citifmonline
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