Accra, Jan. 31, GNA - Vice President Aliu Mahama on Wednesday gave the assurance that full power supply to the country would be restored soon to save Ghanaians and businesses from the difficulties they were going through at present.
He said: "We recognize the difficulties though, and Government is making efforts to ensure that full power supply is restored soon for our Independent Day celebration on March 6, 2007.
The Vice President Mahama said this in a speech read on his behalf by Mr Clement Abavana of the Energy Ministry at a day's forum on the theme: "The Challenges of a Ghanaian Independent Power Producer (IPP), Way Forward" in Accra.
The programme was organized by CenPower Generation Company Limited, a local-based IPP which is currently developing an IPP project at Kpone, near Tema with a capacity of 300 megawatts.
Vice President Mahama said a major reason for the current power supply difficulty had been the inability of the Government to secure enough resources to execute its power supply expansion plans over the years.
"The Investment required for power supply capacity additions are huge. Government has not been able to secure such investment capital on its own.
"Given the inadequacy of our funding from traditional sources, the private sector is a welcome lifeline to ensuring electricity security and adequacy," he said.
Vice President Mahama announced that President John Agyekum Kufuor had recently assented to amendments to the Volta River Development Act, the Act under which the Volta River Authority was established.
He said the amendment to the Act had set the stage for the establishment of an autonomous national transmission company that would provide an open access transmission highway to enable power generators to reach their respective customers without discrimination.
"We believe the new environment will promote the growth of multiple electricity generating companies that will pave the way to achieving the objective of promoting a competitive power supply market," Vice President Mahama said.
He also announced that the Energy Commission in conjunction with the Ministry of Energy was formulating a comprehensive rules and regulations in respect of the new electricity supply market.
"I am aware that the absence of the market rules and regulations are discouraging the development of Independent Power Producers (IPPs)", Vice President Mahama said.
He said the Government recognised the importance of the Kpone Project as an important step towards achieving a fully independent and deregulated market and noted that the West African Gas Pipeline would be pursued in earnest to provide a long term and secure fuel supply for emerging IPPs.
Mr Isaac Sam, Government Advisor on Energy, said the country would need about 600 megawatts of power between now and 2010 and an additional 115 megawatts up to 2015, which required the need to marshal every effort for attainment.
Mr Sam said immediate measures being undertaken by Government to save the situation at present included the possibility to increase the energy import from Cote d'Ivoire and the installation of generating systems.
Nana Brew-Butler, Chairman of CenPower, said the Kpone project began in 1998 through the collaborative support of Infraco Limited, a United Kingdom (UK) based company whose share capital was provided by donor groups in the UK; Netherlands; Sweden; Switzerland; Austria and the World Bank.