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General News of Fri, 6 Feb 201541

Akosombo to shut down 3rd of 6 turbines

The power situation in the country is set to worsen as state-owned power producer Volta River Authority (VRA) gets set to shut down one more of the hydro-electric power station’s six turbines.

The shutdown will bring to three, the total number of turbines taken off the production line as a result of low water level in the 1,020-Megawatt Dam.

The planned shutdown was announced the Director of Engineering at the power producer, William Sam Appiah, during a tour of the dam by President John Mahama Thursday.

President Mahama disclosed during the tour that the Dam is now operating with a water level which is just five feet above the minimum operating level.

The Dam is currently producing 558 megawatts of electricity due to the poor hydrology. At full capacity, the Dam contributes about 37 percent of the country’s total energy needs.

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Earlier, the dam was forced to shut down two of its six turbines, a major reason for the intensified load shedding currently ongoing.

Currently, between 440 and 650 Megawatts of power is shed during off-peak and peak hours, instead of 250 and 350 Megawatts, respectively as earlier planned.

Apart from the shortfall in production as a result of the poor hydrology in the Akosombo, Bui and Kpong Dams, irregular supply of gas for powering thermal plants in the country as well as a breakdown of plants and a shutdown of others for routine maintenance have all conspired to worsen the power situation.

Power Minister Dr Kwabena Donkor recently announced that the country is getting two power barges to supplant supply in the interim.

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