Business News of Mon, 27 Mar 20177

Government working on electricity tariff - Minister

Ghanaians have been urged to bear with government as it works around the clock to find a lasting solution to the current rate of electricity tariffs.

The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, who made the appeal in Kumasi, noted that the present energy mix dominated by thermal, coupled with the irregular gas supply from the West Africa Gas Company and Ghana Gas, makes the cost of power production in the country very expensive. 

He said unlike in the past when hydro, which is the cheapest of all the energy mix, was the main driver of electricity production Ghana, the dynamics have changed in recent times such that the country has had to rely on crude oil to power its thermal plants. 

The regional minister noted that Ghana has enough generation capacity but a myriad of challenges, including debt and inadequate funds to purchase the required amount of crude to power the plants as well as the AMERI Plants, appear to be the major setbacks of efforts to address challenges in the production.

Mr. Osei Mensah said even though government has been making efforts at finding a way around the problem of high tariffs, such attempts are being thwarted.

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He said as government plans to implement its One-district, One-factory policy, the need has even arisen that proactive steps are taken to increase the generation capacity before the roll-out of the programme in order not to worsen the unstable power supply. 

He noted that the new factories will add up to the existing national load and that without additional power production, the country could experience the worst form of 'dumsor' when the One-district, One-factory programme comes on stream.

Mr. Osei Mensah empathised with industry on the impact of the high energy tariffs on their cost of production and asked them support government to address the situation. 

The Ashanti Regional Chairman of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Yaw Boakye-Yiadom, noted that even though power supply has stabilised in recent times, the high cost of electricity is having a serious toll on industry and called for steps to address the problem to keep private enterprises in operation.

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