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General News of Tue, 24 Feb 201563

NDC has installed only 2.5MW in 6 years -KT Hammond

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) says Government should stay away from comparing energy-generation records of the two parties because, there is ‘overwhelming’ evidence that the NPP did far better while in office.

Describing the government approach to energy as ‘lackadaisical’, the Minority spokesperson on Energy, Kobina Tahir Hammond says the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has only added 2.5megawatts of solar power during the last six years since they have been in office.

The former deputy minister was making reference to the Navrongo Solar Power Plant, a 2 MW facility. Commissioned in 2013, the facility has been described by the Volta River Authority (VRA) as the largest grid photovoltaic (PV) plant in West Africa besides those in Cape Verde.

The project cost USD 8,082,025 and was financed by the VRA.

K.T Hammond finds this a pale shadow compared to the 1,451 megawatts he maintains the NPP helped add in 8years of power.

At a press conference in Accra, K.T Hammond said the NPP “conceived the idea for, initiated, installed and assisted in the installation of 1,451.5megawatts of generation capacity”.

His choice of words shows he would have been referring to the construction of the Bui Dam, which the NPP began but was completed by the NDC administration in 2014.

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According to the former deputy minister of Energy, the party has been compelled to defend its record because of a growing line of argument by some government and party officials that the NPP did nothing to increase Ghana’s power supply.

He said Ghanaians are fed up with the blame-game and are expecting Government to concentrate on resolving the three-year-old power crisis.

The Adansi Asokwa MP also challenged Government to explain the whereabouts of some 126megawatts of emergency power plants which the NPP procured in 2007.

NPP and NDC governments share a history of overseeing recurring power crisis. The difference between the two has been in its severity.

In 2007, low levels in the hydro-electric power plant at the Akosombo Dam fuelled power rationing which some analysts believe contributed to the party’s exit in 2008.

Fast-forward to 2012, another power crisis raged, with the cause pinned down to broken down machines, unreliable gas supply from Nigeria and delays in production of Ghana’s own gas at Atuabo. That crisis has persisted to date.

Ghana currently has its own gas powering some plants at the VRA but some broken down machines would need to be repaired before the full advantage of having gas can be maximized.

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