by Justice Lee Adoboe
ACCRA, (Xinhua) ? The government of Ghana will in 2014?add at least 342 Mega Watts (MW) of power to its installed capacity to bring total capacity to 3,187 MW, minister for Energy and Petroleum Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah said here?Monday?night.
?? The effort is aimed at placing the country on course to achieving its target of 5,000 MW of installed capacity by 2016.
?? Addressing a cross-section of the media at a year-end media briefing on activities of the energy and petroleum sectors, the minister said the targeted addition would comprise 330 MW of Thermal Power Plant and a 12MW PV Solar project being undertaken by the Volta River Authority (VRA).
???Thursday, the 400 MW Bui Generating Station (Bui GS) located in the Banda District of the Brong Ahafo Region was commissioned by President John Dramani Mahama.
?? The dam, constructed by a Chinese firm with support from the Chinese government, thus brings Ghana?s total installed power capacity to 2,845 MW.
???This includes 132 MW of power at the Thermal plant in Takoradi, 218 km west of the capital, and 2.5MW of solar energy.
?? To make the 5,000MW target of 2016 possible, the minister said government planned to achieve gas-based generation for 50 percent of the thermal power plants production by 2015.
?? ?In addition to that, we aim at increasing the renewable energy supply in national energy mix to 10 percent by 2020, and improve and modernize distribution infrastructure for efficient service delivery and reduce system losses to 18 percent by 2015,? Buah added.
??? Ghana aims at using its gas resources for electricity generation to enhance its industrialization and economic development.
?? About 1.0 billion U.S dollars of the 3.0 billion-dollar China Development Bank (CDB) loan has been dedicated to the development of offshore and onshore gas infrastructure.
?? ?Work on the gas infrastructure project is progressing: the Offshore pipeline is completed; the onshore pipeline is 90 percent complete, while work on the pipefitting and welding is 100 percent complete,? the minister announced.
??? He said the site filling and compacting of the Regulation Stations at both Takoradi and Esiama, located west of Takoradi, were 100 percent complete, while the construction of the gas processing plant was 60 percent complete.
?? The minister gave the assurance that the gas project would be completed and commissioned by the end of the first quarter of 2014.
??? To ensure efficiency in electricity distribution, Buah said the management structure of the state-run Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) would be clearly
restructured to make managers more accountable.
?? He urged the Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission (PURC) to ensure that the automatic tariff adjustment policy was fully implemented to ensure that power producers recouped their investments.
??The PURC announced here?on Monday?increases in electricity and water tariffs by 9.7 percent and 6.8 percent respectively with effect from January.? Enditem.