According to William Sam-Appiah, Director of Generation and Transmission at the Ministry of Power, the country still sheds between 300 Mega Watts (300MW) and 450 mw daily, which can even reach about 600 mw “on a bad day”.
“In terms of demand today, if we have to meet everything, it is about 2100 MW, but we have about, during the day, just about 1,500 MW and in the evening, just about 1,700 MW, so we have to curtail the difference,” Sam Appiah disclosed.
In immediate terms, the engineer said there were commitments in power supply that should reach more than 900 MW, some of which he was sure would come on line before the end of the year to stop the power crisis referred to as “Dumsor” in local parlance.
In the mean time, he said though there was an arrangement with western neighbors La Cote d’Ivoire to exchange power whenever either party was in distress, with Ghana remaining heavily at the receiving end.
“Before the end of the year, we have projections that will end the current situation and have in excess so that it will help us to plan. The current situation is such that if a unit has to go down for maintenance or something happens and a unit has to shut down, we get into trouble,” he explained.
In the medium term, also, Sam- Appiah stressed the need for Ghana to get to the point where units would shut down during planned maintenance and the effect would not be felt in the country.
“That is what happens everywhere. Go to any country, because they have reserves, the units are coming in and out, nobody sees it because the reserves are there to cover it.
While Sam-Appiah was optimistic about the coming on stream of new plants, he said there could still be a challenge, hence the program to build Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) depot in the Western Port city of Tema, 38 km east of the capital, to store the needed fuel for the plants.
In addition, he said there was an additional system coming on stream to provide from 250 Million Standard Cubic Feet of Gas per Day (250MMSCFPD) for the thermal plants, adding that this would increase to 750 MMscfgpd.
Meanwhile, the World Bank announced in July its decision to provide 700 million U.S. Dollars in Partial Risk Guarantee for the construction of Ghana’s third production vessel-Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO).
The ENI/VITOL field is expected to produce gas for the generation of at least 1000 Mega Watts (1000 MW) of thermal power to support efforts by government to bridge the deficit in power supply.
“We need to have a viable gas policy-gas pricing, because, as I said from the beginning, the plans we have now are all based on utilizing the gas, so we have the IPPs that are going to come in, we have the other programs,” Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper stressed at the press briefing. Enditem.