1 May 2013

Ghana: Power Shortage Persists in Ghana

Accra — The ensuing energy crisis in Ghana is unlikely to abate soon due to the inability of the West African Gas Pipelines Company (WAGPCo) to resume gas supply to the country.

Since the disruption of gas supply in August last year by the West African Gas Company, the country has been facing persistent power cuts and dearth of gas supply.

One of the country's major power generating plants Asogli Sunoni plant, which relies solely on gas was shut down last year, thus aggravating the energy deficit in the power sector.

Confident about the April 30 date initially giving by WAGPCo for the resuscitation of product supply from Nigeria, President John Mahama on several occasions had declared that the ongoing load shedding exercise in the country would end yesterday.

Mahama's calculation was that power generated from Asogli and the nearly completed Bui Dam would jointly enhance power generation by 250 megawatts.

However, the West African Gas Company confirmed yesterday that the April 30 date earlier given by the company was not feasible, as repairs on the pipelines carrying gas from Lome, Togo was uncompleted.

General Manager of WAGPCo, Mrs. Harriet Wereko-Brobby said in an interview yesterday that the company could not meet the earlier deadline for the commencement of product supply to Ghana.

According to her, one of the damaged pipelines took longer than expected to be fixed, even as she affirmed that enormous work had been done on the damaged facility.

Wereko-Brobby however failed to give a new date for gas to begin flowing again saying, "We cannot give a new date now, and we are doing our best to ensure that gas starts flowing as soon as possible. But we do not want to give a date."

The pipelines were shut down in August last year after a Togolese Naval Ship ruptured the pipes in Lome.

The 678 kilometer West African Gas Pipeline (WAGPCo) links into existing Escravos-Lagos pipeline at the Nigerian Gas company's Itoki Natural Gas Export Terminal.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive of the Volta River Authority, Mr. Kweku Awotwe has said that for Ghanaians to enjoy regular power supply there was need to review upwards electricity tariffs.

For him, the tariffs currently paid by consumers were insufficient to sustain the huge cost of generation and maintenance of power facilities in the country.

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