General News of Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Source: The Al-Hajj

“Dumsor dumsor” end finally

Although power supply in the country over the past two weeks has improved tremendously which certainly has brought to an end the punishing load shedding exercise, government is said to be reluctant in officially announcing an end to the ‘dumsor dumsor’ phenomenon.

Sources close to the country’s power production and distribution sectors disclosed to The aL-hAJJ that though all indications show that the load shedding exercises which was announced by the Electricity Company of Ghana some few months ago could be said to be over, “the system is being monitored carefully for some time before it is officially confirmed.”

Government is said to be treading cautiously not to announce the end to “dumsor” due to the harsh public criticisms it had to endure when President Mahama and his Energy and Petroleum Minister, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, earlier this year gave contradictory dates of the end of power rationing which turned out to be false.

Ghanaians have been enduring erratic power supply after electricity producers launched almost a year-long load management exercise.

This was occasioned by shortage in the supply of gas from Nigeria to power thermal plants in Tema and Takoradi to complement what is produced from the Akosombo Hydro-electric Dam. Currently, Ghana’s installed capacity is about 2,850MW. The Akosombo Hydroelectric Power Plant generates about 1,020MW of energy, followed by Bui Dam, which also produces 400MW, Aboadze and the Takoradi Thermal Power Plants produce 360MWand 330MW respectively.

But, decline in gas supply from Nigeria forced the shutdown of Sunon-Asogli and one of the thermal plants in Takoradi. As a result of this and coupled with expansion works at the Takoradi T2 thermal plant, the country lost over 500MW.

Bui electric dam, which is managed by the Bui Power Authority, and has a generation capacity of 400MW, unfortunately, produces less than 100MW due to low level of water. This development forced officials of VRA, Ghana Grid Company and the Electricity Company of Ghana, producers, transmitters and distributors in the power sector respectively, to formally announce a "temporary load management" exercise earlier this year.

In the wake of the crisis, Mr Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah on the instructions of President John Mahama, visited Nigeria and held talks with his counterparts in a bid to solving the energy crisis. His visit, according to government sources yielded positive results as gas supply from Nigeria, which dropped to a record 30 million prior to the Minister’s visit shot up to 70 million standard cubic feet per day and has since shot up to an impressive level.

Expansion and repair works on both the VRA and TICO power plants is said to have completed and producing power at maximum capacities coupled with maximum gas supply to the Sunon-Asogli, which is also producing at its peak.

These developments, a source said, have generated efficiency in the power sector as a result of which there is steady power supply in the country presently, adding that “in the coming days we will come out to announce an end to the load shedding. As I told you earlier, we are still monitoring the system.”