Stop Over-drafting Akosombo – Dr. Ackah Tells VRA

Energy Policy Think Tank, Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has expressed grave concern about the Akosombo Dam being put under serious pressure or “over drafting” by Volta River Authority (VRA).

Dr Arkaah
Dr Arkaah

Sounding alarm bells, ACEP say operating all the six turbines at peak period at the current water level But doing so means a gap of about 400 MW of power that will have to be filled or the country returns to“full scale dumsor”.

Dr Arkaah
Dr Arkaah

VRA was forced to operate the 6 turbines at peak periods despite the risks involved. This current headache faced by VRA is as a result of the absence of the FPSO.

The FPSO Kwame Nkrumah would normally supply the needed gas to VRA thermal plants (TICO and TAPCO) to cover the current power gap but have now suspended operations pending the advent of the FPSOwhich is on a maintenance scheduled; VRA has had to fill in the gap with light crude oil.

This has now been extended to five weeks from two, leading to curtailment in gas supply to the Ghana National Gas company, ultimately affecting power generation.Another effect that Ghana is paying is a huge capacity charge to Ameri even though for over a month now that the FPSO is not supplying gas to the plant to generate power.

The taxes of ordinary Ghanaians are now being wasted on the Ameri plant as it cannot use oil to generate power. The Power Ministry has denied the assertion by ACEP.

According to Dr. Ackah, government and VRA should opt for combine cycle plants when procuring thermal plants. This will allow them to switch to other sources of fuel in times of shortage. However, this was not the case with respect to the Ameri plant, which relies only on natural gas although the country continues to pay for capacity charges even when the plant is not in operation.

ACEP has also called on the government to reveal the state of VRA’s indebtedness to N-Gas, and the reason for the reduced supply of gas from Nigeria. The think tank asserts that government should as a matter of urgency use the proceeds of the energy ‘debt recovery levy to pay what it owes ECG, VRA among others.

Dr. Ackah further stressed that the government should have a diversified sustainable fuel strategy by investing in renewables and regasification plant to enable LNG imports.

Source: Seibik Bugri

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