30 December 2015

Ghana: No More Dumsor - Load Shedding Comes to an End in Ghana - Power Ministry

The Ministry of Power has announced an end to load shedding in a statement released on Wednesday December 30. The three-paragraph statement signed by Kweku Sersah-Johnson, Head of Public Affairs, for the Power Minister, said " the Ministry of Power wishes to inform the public that its load shedding programme in respect of electricity supply has been brought to an end".

"The Ministry takes this opportunity to express its profound gratitude and appreciation to the entire citizenry and residents of Ghana for their forbearance and understanding during those difficult times". -

"The Ministry of Power and its agencies wish to assure the public that it shall continue to pursue policies and programmes to consolidate the gains so far made in the generation and transmission of electricity for the country" the statement concluded.

The announcement is timely and significant as Ghanaians were eagerly looking forward to the resignation of the Power Minister Dr. Kwabena Donkor, who had repeatedly promised to resign by the end of the year if load shedding or 'dumsor' persists.

It is however unclear how Ghanaians will receive this announcement considering that the Power Minister recently gave different meanings to 'dumsor' and load shedding. In his view, load shedding occurs when there is inadequate power and so consumers share what is available. He said 'dumsor' refers to intermittent outages caused by technical faults which can happen at any time and cannot always be controlled.

If his explanation is anything to go by, then the latest announcement would mean that he has fulfilled his promise a day to January 2016, and can therefore escape the wrath of Ghanaians by ending load shedding. The announcement would also mean that the country has now met its generation capacity and would not have to share power anymore.

In the last four years, Ghana has not had stable supply of power as demand has outstripped supply. But in the last two years, the crisis deepened with the country suffering job losses as industries cut down on their intake to remain in business. Small scale enterprises have also not been spared the effects of the crisis coupled with an unstable currency that made life more difficult.

Government has in recent times implemented some initiatives to make up for the shortfall in power supply. These include the Karpower Barge from Turkey which docked at the Tema Port this December to produce 225 megawatts of power. A second power barge is also expected in the first quarter of 2016. Government has also secured ten power plants from the UAE-based Ameri Energy, which have since been connected to the national grid.

The Ghana Gas Company upon a request from the Volta River Authority (VRA) shut down its facility at Atuabo on November 23, to allow the AMERI Power Plant, to be connected to the supply of gas. Ghana Gas is currently supplying gas to the VRA to power its plants despite the VRA's huge indebtedness to them for the gas supplied over a long period of time.

Ghana Gas recently warned that it could shut down completely if the VRA did not honour its debt obligations since it needed to fix faulty equipment to supply gas effectively.

Ghana

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