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‘Dumsor’ lurking around

24 January 2017

‘Dumsor’ lurking around

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Ghana’s installed capacity of 3,644 megawatts (MW) will do little to assuage its power needs this year if the government fails to secure credible gas supply deals from neighbouring Nigeria, energy policy think-tank, Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP), has predicted.

Ghana’s installed capacity of 3,644 megawatts (MW) will do little to assuage its power needs this year if the government fails to secure credible gas supply deals from neighbouring Nigeria, energy policy think-tank, Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP), has predicted.

With the Takoradi Power Company (TAPCO) and Takoradi International Company (TICO) power plants which supply an average of 620 MW of the country’s energy needs due to be shut down for routine maintenance later this year, the ACEP explains Nigeria gas remains the obvious option for averting a looming load-shedding.

Load-shedding, which is popularly called ‘dumsor,’has been the bane of businesses over the past four years and its expected return could wreck more havoc on the economy.

In 2014, the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) estimated that erratic power supply, which is caused by demand outstripping supply, cost the nation between GH¢320 million and GH¢924 million.

To help avoid a repeat of this, the ACEP advised that the government should initiate discussions with Nigeria to offset the shortfall in supply from Atuabo.

“The government will, therefore, have to initiate discussion with Nigeria to increase gas supply to power Asogli and KTPP which can provide relief to offset the shortfall from Aboadze,” the deputy Executive Director of ACEP, Mr Benjamin Boakye said at a press conference in Accra.

Fragile situation

Nigeria, which supplies gas to Ghana through the West Africa Gas Pipeline Company (WAPco), has reduced gas supply to Ghana due to the country’s indebtedness to it.

Beyond the fuel supply constraints linked to financial distress of the sector, indigenous supply of gas will also suffer when the Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) vessel, Kwame Nkrumah goes out for maintenance.

These combined pressure, Mr Boakye explained could bring back ‘dumsor’ if the country is unable to secure gas supply.

“There is,therefore, the need to ensure availability of Light Crude Oil (LCO) for the dual fuel plants in the hope that gas from TEN project will be on schedule to keep AMERI running and this brings to the fore the need to comprehensively deal with VRA’s indebtedness to NGas and WAPCo ,” he said.

Don’t overrun Akosombo

With water levels rising in the Akosombo Dam, Mr Boakye cautioned against an attempt to power all the six turbines to generate power as a result of the anticipated deficit.

With an installed capacity of 1020 MW, the dam is expected to be the next major source of power generation as water levels keep improving. The water level was 249.66 feet on Wednesday, January 18, above the minimum operating level of 234.96 feet.

“In the face of eminent shortfall in supply, Akosombo could be the next target as the water level has improved this year. We would want to caution against any attempt to run the plant at full capacity anytime soon,” he said.

Source: Daily Graphic