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Business News of Wednesday, 26 February 2020


Energy experts question government's alternative power arrangement

Executive Director of ACEP, Benjamin Boakye Executive Director of ACEP, Benjamin Boakye

The recent intermittent power cuts experienced in some parts of the country has compelled some energy experts to demand of the government alternative arrangements to sustain power supply.

A cross-section of Ghanaians in the affected areas have lamented the situation and demanded answers from the Energy Ministry and the Electricity Company of Ghana.

But the ministry, in a response, attributed the power outages to ongoing major repair works on the gas pipeline from Nigeria to Ghana.

The 500-kilometre pipeline supplies gas to the Tema enclave. It is designed to provide better power services.

Deputy Energy Minister, William Aidoo, said the project will be completed soon to restore normalcy in power distribution to Ghanaians.

He also pointed out that other alternative arrangements that were made by the ministry suffered various setbacks resulting in the current situation.

“Ghana, of course, we have our own indigenous gas that we can flow from the west to the east but, unfortunately, because of this work, the gas from the west to the east that is from Takoradi to Tema could not also be supplied. And, also, we must remember that in the government’s quest to reduce the tariff regime of electricity in the country, we’ve asked the power generators to convert as much as possible from the liquid fuels to gas.

“So, when this gas supply, 120 million cubic supply from Nigeria was cut off, we have been experiencing challenges but I’m happy to announce to the good people of this country that within the next few days, this whole piggery exercise will come to an end”, he noted.

Energy analysts, Kojo Poku and Benjamin Boakye of the African Centre for Energy Policy, however, told Class News the government could have done a better job by devising an alternative temporary means of ensuring constant power supply until the repair works were completed.

Benjamin Boakye said: “The power sector challenges are there, this is one them; if gas is curtailed and we cannot procure heavy fuel oil, it tells you that we still have the financial challenges lingering around. And if there is a problem on one side of the value chain, it affects everybody and every part of value chain. So, how do we fix the power system challenges, how do we ensure the process that was curtailed in getting private sector participation…how do we start the process?”