Business News of 2014-07-17

Gov’t to use share of MCA to procure thermal plants

Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, has revealed that government would use its share of their Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) to procure thermal plants to boost the nation’s energy generation.

“The reason why we are focusing the MCA funding on the energy sector is that we know that and we have talked about it that we have to focus on bringing more thermal generation to ensure that we have insurance against a possible shortfall in supply from Akosombo,” he noted.

The MCA is a bilateral US development assistance program announced by President Bush in March 2002. The objective of the MCA is to help support economic growth and poverty reduction in the poorest countries in the world.

The Compact was signed on August 1, 2006 at an impressive ceremony at the State Department in Washington, DC and was worth $547,009,000 million dollars. This fund, helped in improving agriculture and the construction of feeder and trunk roads across the country. The country is expected to start accessing the second phase of the fund which is around $565 million dollars around January, 2015.

Currently, the backbone of energy generation relies on the generation of hydro power from Akosombo, Bui and thermal generation from the Aboadze thermal station. Due to inadequate water to sustain adequate hydro generation and shortage of crude oil and gas from suppliers, the nation was plunged into incessant power crisis.

This problem, ushered in the load-shedding program which in effect shut down several businesses prematurely. During last year, President John Mahama vowed to curb the crisis before the end of that year but the issue proved elusive as it still persists.

Despite the energy crisis, the Minister was optimistic that upon the procurement of the thermal plants and with assistance from the hydro generation, the nation’s erratic energy crisis will be resolved. “I think that we are monitoring because if u see the rains this year we are on a path where we will probably get out of it,” he believed.

A $220 million Kpone thermal plant which is expected to add 220 mega watts of power to the national grid is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

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