General News of 2014-08-30

ECG intensifies load shedding exercise

Citi Business News can confirm that the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has intensified its load shedding exercise in the southern part of the country.

According to the Public Relations Officer of the ECG, William Boateng, some 200 megawatts of power was shed on Thursday, the highest in a while.

The increase in shedding is expected to continue in the coming weeks.

The latest development follows some energy generation challenges with the country’s power plants.

The Volta River Authority (VRA) earlier downplayed fears that Ghana’s power situation was going to worsen in the coming months because of dwindling water levels at the Akosombo Dam.

The water level of the Akosombo dam has been reducing steadily and it is feared the situation could force a shutdown of the dam if conditions do not improve.

The Akosombo Dam serves is Ghana’s biggest plant with an installed capacity of 1020 megawatts.

It currently produces about 775 megawatts, which is 76% of installed capacity.

A total shutdown of the dam will leave Ghana with only 538 megawatts of electricity which will not meet the demand of consumers.

Earlier, the Head of Communications at the Volta River Authority, Sam Fletcher confirmed the water level at the dam was dropping but insisted the VRA has made plans to augment power supply should the dam be shutdown.

“This isn’t a situation that the VRA hasn’t seen before; we saw the worst in 2006 and 2010. We are making provisions for the thermal plant to come and augment what we would have lost in terms of capacity from the dam,” he said

Meanwhile, the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry is demanding that power supply to the business community must be prioritized instead of power to private residents.

Its President, Seth Adjei Baah told Citi Business News, ‘I don’t accept the fact that we are giving electricity to villages where nothing is coming from and sacrificing industry that will kick start the economy,” he stressed.

He lamented that the move will add extra operational cost to businesses already suffocating from the current economic challenges in the country.

He however said the business community had not been informed of the pending intensification.

Source: citifmonline.com
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