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General News of Monday, 4 May 2015


Wereko-Brobby: 'Dumsor' could end by July but...

A former Chief Executive of electricity generators, the Volta River Authority (VRA), Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby, has painted an optimistic picture of Ghana’s energy crisis.

He says the power challenges called 'dumsor' in local parlance could end by July when maintenance works on important power installations is complete.

But he undercuts the optimism with a caveat that it will ultimately require government paying off its debt to Nigeria to guarantee consistent gas supply to Ghana’s thermal plants.

Tracing a vicious cycle of debt, Dr. Wereko-Brobby explained that government owes the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) about $1.6 billion while ECG owes the VRA a similar amount.

VRA owes Nigeria $30 million completing the cycle of power-related debts.

According to Wereko-Brobby, maintenance works on TICO unit No.1 was completed in April, releasing 100 megawatts more to the national grid.

Kpong thermal plant is expected to be restored by May. It will generate 36 megawatts.

TICO Steam turbine is scheduled to be up and running by May and will bring 100 more crucial megawatts this month.

180 megawatts Sunon Asogli expansion thermal plant is projected to give off its full capacity by June, he continued.

These improvements in power supply in coming weeks means the 500MW deficit which is the cause of the current load shedding, could be bridged.

This progressive state of affairs means the days of dumsor are numbered, he argued.

To ensure the sustainability of regular power supply, Dr. Wereko-Brobby is encouraging government to work to pay off its huge debts.

“Already Nigeria has officially put us on notice,” that we need to honour our financial obligations.

If Nigeria cuts its gas, Asogli will be shut down and a domino effect of shutdowns will ravage through Ghana’s thermal power enclave in Takoradi.

Dr. Wereko-Brobby believes that is not prudent to invest huge monies in power barges from Turkey and Dubai when the money is needed to immediately solve “a real and present danger” of having gas supply cut off from Nigeria.

He wants government to focus on “paying off “paying off ECG debts so ECG can pay VRA and VRA pay Nigeria”.