Dr Ishamel Ackah
Power outages that have rocked parts of the country have been projected to cease by the end of the first quarter of this year, but some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have called for a power rationing timetable from the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to allow businesses to plan adequately.
The power distributor is currently said to be shedding between 170 megawatts on regular basis and 240 megawatts of power during peak time, according to Dr Ishamel Ackah, Policy Director at the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP).
He also attributed the power outages to the shutdown of the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah for maintenance works, adding that the shutdown of the facility has led to a shortfall in gas supply to the Ameri Power Plant, hence the unplanned action.
“ECG should take immediate steps to communicate a schedule to the public and explain measures they are taking to resolve the fuel challenge.”
It would be recalled that Robert Dwamena, former Managing Director of ECG, attributed the power outages to the inability of ECG to measure the actual demand of its customers despite having enough transformers in its system, i.e. over 2000 transformers.
Several parts of Accra have recently been experiencing power outages, which have often lasted for several days.
Eric Asante, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Accra West, said that plans were underway to solve the problems.
ACEP, at the start of the year, warned that Ghana was likely to face another power crisis.
But officials of the then NDC administration maintained that there was enough power in the system to prevent a recurrence of ‘dumsor.’
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo recently announced in Parliament during his first State of the Nation address that his administration was in the process of developing a national electricity master plan, which would additionally explore listing VRA and GRIDCo on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE).
“We have inherited a heavily indebted energy sector, with the net debt reaching $2.4 billion as of December 2016,” the president said, adding: “I have to point out the alarming fact that $800 million of this debt is owed to local banks, which threatens their stability.”
“Huge indebtedness of the energy sector constitutes the single major hurdle to Ghanaians enjoying reliable and affordable electricity supply,” he mentioned.