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It's a fallacy to promise an end to power crisis now - VRA

"The Volta River Authority (VRA) says any projection or promise to end the current power rationing in the country may amount to a grand deception."

Source: myjoyonline

Posted on : Wed 07 May 2014

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The Volta River Authority (VRA) says any projection or promise to end the current power rationing in the country may amount to a grand deception.

According to Samuel Fletcher, Communications Director of the VRA, the power crisis would only cease if the country commits to invest in building enough reserves to take care of the deficits in power supply.

Ghana's total demand at peak is said to be about 2,000 megawatts, but current generation capacity is around 1,800 megawatts.

Government had given assurances that Ghanaians will not suffer the power crisis that plunged the country into darkness for most part of 2013.

But ongoing maintenance works on the Asogli and Takoradi (1&2) power plants, coupled with cuts in gas supplies from Nigeria, have further worsened the plight of consumers who have to now endure a significant shortfall of about 400 megawatts in generation.

Speaking on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM Wednesday, Mr. Fletcher said the country would have been in a better position to provide uninterrupted supply of power if investments had been made in the sector a decade ago.

He said the benefits of ongoing investments could only be felt years from now and not in the near future as consumers are being made to believe.

"We can only get that reserve after sometime [but] not today unfortunately. There are a number of projects that we are working on...but unfortunately, we will not see them come on stream immediately.

It will take us some time," the Communications Director stated.

"Until we get that reserve, it will be a fallacy for anybody to say that 'dum-sor dum-sor' [load shedding] would end anytime soon," he said.

Mr. Fletcher said thermal power generation is negatively affecting the revenues of the power producer, VRA, as almost all monies collected from the sale of power in 2012 was used to purchase crude oil to power thermal plants.

"...98% of what we collect (from the generation) goes into (buying) crude oil," he told Kojo Yankson, host of the Show.

Mr. Fletcher said the best way out of the current situation is to rely on natural gas to power the plants because that is cheaper.

Unfortunately, suppliers of natural gas, Nigeria, through the West Africa Gas Pipeline Project have consistently dwindled.

The VRA Communications Director said Nigeria itself needs the gas and, therefore, cannot supply Ghana the required quantities of gas.

It is expected that when Ghana Gas comes on stream, a project which has been delayed considerably, the situation will improve even though experts believe that the quantity of gas from the jubilee field is insufficient for Ghana's needs.

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