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General News of Thursday, 11 August 2005

Source: GNA

Ghana has 350 Million dollar energy funding gap

Accra, Aug. 11, GNA - Ghana has appealed to her international partners for support to meet a 350 million-dollar gap in her energy funding requirement.

So far, India has put forward 15 million dollars in equipment and materials for energy generation.

Professor Mike Ocquaye, Minister of Energy, said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Thursday. This was after Mrs Nuria Gene, Ghana's Consul General in Spain, called on him to explore further areas of cooperation between Ghana and Spain. Mrs Gene was in to explore other avenues in which the Ministry of Energy could collaborate with Spanish authorities for the development of the energy sector.

Prof Ocquaye noted that the Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning would next week sign an agreement with the Indian authorities for a further 30 million dollars towards the provision of power equipment in the country.

He described the energy sector as a crucial sector for national development stressing that, "with the re-introduction of ALCOA, VALCO's successors, operations would require more energy and an increased supply would be required."

The Spanish Government has recently made available about 40 million Euros to support Ghana's budget adding that some of the amount would to go to the energy sector.

"This amount will be used to replace transformers of the Electricity Company of Ghana in Tema where huge industries are located and are experiencing power fluctuations."

Prof Ocquaye said energy rejuvenation had been left for a long time and urgently required support if Ghana were to meet her urgent developmental objectives.

He asked Mrs Gene to also explore collaboration with companies that could provide mini dams for small communities to avoid the continuous extension of the national power grid to all the areas in the country. Prof Ocquaye explained that the Government had identified 14 hydro projects for development, adding that UNIDO had adopted one and was currently undertaking one in the Volta Region with support from the Chinese Government.

"Some of the companies could adopt the hydro project sites and develop them for additional power support for the country," he said.

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