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General News of Thu, 2 Mar 20175

Power outages can’t be blamed on NDC — John Jinapor

The former Deputy Minister of Power, Mr John Abdulai Jinapor, has stated that the current power outages the country is facing cannot be attributed to failure on the part of the immediate past National Democratic Congress (NDC) government to increase power generation.

That, he said, was because the past government had increased the country's installed power capacity to more than 4,000 megawatts (MW), which was double the 2,000 MW energy demanded at peak periods.

Contributing to a debate on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo's maiden State of the Nation Address delivered to Parliament last week Tuesday, Mr Jinapor, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Yapei/Kusawgu, said the past government took necessary but painful decisions in the energy sector to avert any future 'dumsor'.

"Having taken these necessary but difficult decisions, I wish to state on authority that I am convinced that under no circumstances should dumsor revisit us.

"The prevalence of dumsor today cannot be attributed to the past administration, not in the least, because we took all the difficult decisions," he said.

Mr Jinapor said the country did not experience dumsor even when the floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel went off for two months last year due to reliable and sustainable power.

"It, therefore, beats my imagination that the FPSO went off for just one week and almost the whole nation was plunged into darkness," he said.

Recent power challenges

For the past three weeks, residents of Accra, Tema and other parts of the country have complained about the return of dumsor as a result of intermittent power outages. The outages have generated raging debate among consumers as to whether dumsor is resurfacing.

Domestic consumers and business operators have complained about the impact of dumsor on their lives and businesses, but the Ministry of Energy assured the public that power supply would return to normalcy by the end of last Monday, following the completion of maintenance works on the plants of the Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC).

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The completion of the works would allow the connection and commissioning of the gas supply system from the TEN Fields to the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant.

According to a statement signed by the Communications Officer at the Ministry of Energy, Mr King A. Wellington, the schedule for the completion of the works, which was originally slated from February 3 to 20, 2017, had to be extended to February 26, 2017 due to certain operational difficulties experienced by Tullow Oil.

Power projects

Mr Jinapor said upon assumption of office by the NDC government, it sought to tackle the challenge head-on to bridge the gap and have reliable and dependable source of power supply.

Consequently, he said, the government initiated, implemented and commissioned new projects.

Mr Jinapor said the NDC government continued the Bui Power Project, which led to its commissioning by former President John Dramani Mahama, in 2013.

"We had to source additional funding in order to complete that project," he said.

Mr Jinapor said the government extended the Tico Project in Takoradi in 2015, which generated a 330 megawatts (MW) capacity of power.

In addition, he said, the entire Kpong Thermal Plant, a 200 MW dual plant, was completed in 2015; and they also worked with Asogli to bring about 260 MW and completed a 20 MW in the Central Region.

Mr Jinapor said the government took deliberate plans to bring projects that were christened fast-track power plants, and mentioned Karpower as one of the projects.

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