Power shortages to continue

Lights Out

Mon, 2 Oct 2006 Source: --

ACCRA - Power shortages and rationing in Ghana will continue until the end of November, the Volta River Authority (VRA) said on Monday.

The VRA said electricity rationing introduced at the end of August was necessary to prevent serious shortages in the year ahead. The rationing programme was to stopped at the end of September.

The low water level in the Volta Dam, source of some 60 per cent of Ghana's electricity production, plunged the Ghana into darkness about a month ago. As an emergency measure, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has been rationing power, with consumers losing 12 hours of supplies three days a week.

"The power shortages will continue until the end of November and then we will review them," a VRA spokeswoman said.

Many of the country's gold miners, which include some of the world's biggest, such as Newmont Mining Corp, AngloGold Ashanti Ltd and Gold Fields Ltd, saw costs rise and production slow in September as they were forced to cut their use of power.

But mining firms did not cut their power use by half, as VRA had originally requested.

"They never made the (50 percent) target. Industry made a cut of 20 percent. We have to accommodate that, there was a risk of layoffs," the VRA spokeswoman said.

VRA says a new thermal plant should be up and running in Ghana, Africa's second biggest gold producer after South Africa, by the middle of next year.

Source: --
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