Ghana: Stakeholders Hold Crunch Meeting Over Energy Crisis

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Players in the energy sector value chain on Saturday held a crunch meeting to discuss the erratic power supply in the country.

Convened by the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, the meeting was attended by representatives from the Ministries of Finance and Energy, the Electricity Company of Ghana, the Ghana Grid Company, the Volta River Authority, the Bui Power Authority, the Northern Electricity Development Company, and Independent Power Producers.

Speaking with the media after the closed-door meeting, chairman of the Mines and Energy Committee and MP for Akyem Abuakwa South, Samuel Atta Akyea, said they had listened to all the stakeholders and had a better grasp of the issues bedeviling the sector.

Having come to that realisation, he then said the need for a load shedding timetable to manage the situation had become inevitable as the players in the value chain find solution to the crisis.

"[The need for a timetable] is not negotiable. The Committee was very strong on that. If there are power outages, it could be a problem.

"But the bigger problem is that those who are enjoying power should know when it will be available so that they can plan their lives around the timetable," he outlined.

According to Mr Akyea, it came to the fore at the meeting that the underlining cause of the power outages was the inability of the suppliers to generate enough power for onward distribution to consumers.

"You won't have power outages if demand is met by supply. So if there is under generation, which there is an admission there is, we should do everything within our power to generate enough to meet demand."

The inability to meet demand, the lawmaker said, was as a result of lack of finances to procure fuel in order to keep the generation going because "if the (players along the value chain) have money to cater for operational cost, we will have good supply of power and bring to an end the outages."

The next step of the Committee's work, Samuel Atta Akyea said, would be to monitor how the stakeholders proceeded after the meeting and see to it that the issues were resolved and ensure that the outages did not become a permanent feature going forward.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Mr Akyea said "is acutely aware of his record which is on the line. What I am hearing is consistent with what he is thinking and it will not be too long things will come to normalcy. He is more concerned than we think."

Ranking member on the Committee and MP for Yapei-Kusawgu, John Jinapor, noted that claims of replacement of transformers as the cause of the problem was a hoax.

"It is obvious that it is generation challenge. It has been confirmed that there is a deficit. Even as at yesterday (Friday) they were shedding load. So clearly, the issue of transformers is neither here nor there," he stated.

He said the ministries of finance and energy had assured that government was looking for money to procure the fuel and once that was done and consistently, the outages would be curtailed.

But, Managing Director of the ECG, Samuel Dubik Mahama, said the company was doing well to keep the lights on, maintaining that load was not being shed.

"We are doing our best. The lights are going to stay on. Most of the transformers we spoke about and intensification processes are almost done. So we should stay positive. Currently, we are not shedding load."

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