Government is supporting investment in the gas infrastructure to ensure significant shift from oil based power generation to gas based power generation.
In the long term, however, the plan is to invest in the nuclear power, which can be a cheaper and cleaner energy source to support the country’s commitment to combat climate change.
Mr John Peter Amewu, Minister of Energy, said Ghana had included Nuclear power in the energy generation mix.
Mr Amewu was speaking at the 2020 Ghana Economic Forum on the theme: “Resetting the economy beyond COVID-19; Building economic resilience and self-sufficiency”.
The forum sought to set the agenda for Ghana’s Economic Prosperity by engaging key stakeholders to deliberate on economic development issues in a non-partisan manner.
Key topics discussed include building resilient financial institutions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and positioning Ghanaian businesses to leverage the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA) for accelerated growth.
The rest are building Sustainable Agro-economic models for Ghana’s self-sufficiency and adding value to our mineral resources; private sector perspectives on policy imperatives.
The Minister, speaking through the Chief Director of the Ministry, said government had initiated the process for the construction of the first nuclear power plant in the country.
He said “we have fulfilled the conditions for the International Atomic Energy Agency.”
He informed that the owner operator of the nuclear power plant has also been established and currently in the process of identifying a suitable site as well as an investor country for the construction of the first nuclear power plant.
He said in the medium term, the strategy was to focus and harness the abundant gas resources, which had been discovered.
He indicated that government took an unpopular and painful decision leading to the reforms in the energy sector, including the review of all existing thermal and renewable energy power purchase agreements.
He said government had renegotiated for price reduction and rescheduled commercial operation dates in line with power demand, while some agreements were cancelled.
“We suspended the issuance of provisional whole electricity supply licences for utility-scale power projects,” he added.
He said a moratorium was also placed on ECG not to sign new power purchase agreements.
Mr Amewu informed that the painful measures had helped to sanitize the power sector.
The Minister said unfortunately, the COVID-19 had been unkind to the entire world and Ghana, particularly the Energy sector, bringing about enormous challenges that required re-strategising.
Mr Yaw Osafo-Marfo, Senior Minister said as a country, “our dependence on the natural resource alone would not help to drive Ghana’s development over the years, unless there was a deliberate effort to change the mindset.”
He said the ability to create the value chain out of the natural resources to maximize the benefits of the country’s natural resources in order to drive economic development was imperative.
“It is the surest way to create a sustainable job for the youth, increase revenue addition and become a key voice in the global market,” he added.