Business News of Thu, 22 Dec 20165
Gas shortfall won’t result in ‘dumsor’ – Power Ministry
The Ministry of Power is convinced that a possible cut in gas supply in the country won’t adversely affect the production of electricity.
According to the Deputy Minister of Power, John Jinapor, the country’s power producers can rely on crude oil to power the various power plants to adequately serve the energy needs of Ghanaians in the absence of gas.
The Deputy Minister made the remark in an interview on Eyewitness News in reaction to a letter the Volta River Authority wrote to GRIDCo informing it of a 15-day interruption in gas supply between February and March 2017.
The Authority in the letter further indicated that “power from Ameri Energy will also not be available during that period.”
Ghanaians have however expressed worry over the situation after enduring intense load-shedding for nearly three years.
But Mr. Jinapor observed that the nation will not be plunge into darkness if the incoming New Patriotic Party handles the situation properly.
He explained that earlier in 2016, a similar situation occurred yet the nation was enjoyed 24 hours of uninterrupted power supply throughout the period because they relied on lite crude oil.
“If we do our things well, if we continue to put in place the right mechanisms and the right framework and we build on the gains we have made so far, we should never have load shedding and this is factual. Even if we don’t have gas from the FPSO, most of the plants in the west; thus the Aboadze enclave can run on lite crude oil. This year, getting into the election we had a 21 day shutdown of the FPSO, it did not affect production. And so if you could manage it for 21 days, it means you can equally manage it for one month,” Mr. Jinapor noted.
He also explained that additional plants are coming on-board which will supplement the hydro power generated from the Akosombo dam.
“…We are having additional capacities coming onboard. So if you don’t have gas Ameri may not produce but you have a complement of between about 370 [megawatts]. The second batch of Karpower is also available and will start producing in around February. So you are looking to about 600 megawatts of extra capacity coming on board. In addition to that the hydro levels have gone up to appreciable levels. From that low of about 235 we hit over 250 so it means that given all the conditions that we have we should not go into load shedding,” the Deputy Minister explained.
Dumsor is coming back- ACEP warns
The African Center for Energy Policy (ACEP) had earlier warned that Ghana may face power crisis in 2017 over disruption in gas supply.
It further admonished the incoming government to tackle as a matter of urgency challenges in the power sector since power supply from the nation’s hydro power sources are still dim.