Gas is expected to flow from Nigeria through the West African Gas Pipeline next week, following the completion of repair works on the pipeline and a test run.
With the completion of the repairs, the Sunon Asogli Plant, which has been lying idle since the destruction of the pipeline in August 2012, will receive 50 to 60 million cubic metres of gas to run its operations.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Volta River Authority (VRA), Mr Kweku Awotwi, disclosed this to journalists at the meet-the-press series in Accra yesterday.
He was responding to questions at the event, which was addressed by the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah.
Mr Awortwi explained that with the completion of repair works, engineers had started opening the valves to increase the pressure to facilitate uninterrupted flow of gas.
Addressing journalists earlier, Mr Buah had said once the Sunon Asogli Plant started running, 250 megawatts of power would be brought on stream to boost the power supply situation in the country.
He was hopeful that the resumption of operations at Sunon Asogli would change the energy supply equation.
“Since last August, we have all had to endure a very excruciating load-shedding exercise as a result of the damage caused to the West African Gas Pipeline. I am happy to report that the repair works and testing on the pipeline have been completed and we expect the operators to resume the supply of gas in the coming days,” he said.
From the latter part of 2012, the country has been confronted with energy supply challenges, partly due to increasing demand and a shortfall in supply.
As part of efforts to manage the energy crisis, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has had to resort to load-shedding exercises which have affected industries, production and services.
Ghana’s energy supply is basically from hydro and thermal sources.
Strategies for power generation
According to the minister, the government had a very aggressive agenda to increase generation capacity to 500 megawatts and had formulated a number of strategies.
They included providing short to medium-term annual generation road maps with specific planned projects; working to ensure that the VRA effectively delivers its mandate of ensuring generation sufficiently and reliably; taking steps to address the challenges of fuel availability for thermal plants and pursuing various renewable projects, particularly solar, mini hydro, biomass and wind, to augment generation.
Mr Buah said the country was on course with its electricity generation road map and had thus brought on stream 267 megawatts of additional installed capacity by the close of May 2013.
It comprised 132 megawatts from the Takoradi Three Thermal Plant, 133 megawatts from one unit of the Bui Dam and two megawatts from the solar plant in Navrongo.
“By the close of 2013, we would have added 534 megawatts when the remaining two units of Bui Dam come on stream, bringing the total installed capacity to 2,845.5 megawatts.
“In 2014, we will add 342 megawatts with the completion of the 220-megawatt Kpone thermal power plant; 110 megawatts Takoradi two expansion project and another 12 megawatts solar plant.
“This will bring the total generation to 3,187.5 megawatts,” he said, adding that 1,060 megawatts was expected from four planned projects in 2015, increasing total generation to 4,247.5 megawatts.
Mr Buah said by 2016, 1,711.5 megawatts was expected from an additional seven planned projects, thereby bringing the aggregate generation capacity to 5,958.5 megawatts.
Pricing of electricity
On the pricing of electricity, Mr Buah said recent developments in the power sub-sector clearly indicated that everyone had a role to play in the country’s bid to provide reliable power that would promote job creation and socio-economic development.
“We believe that any tariff adjustment by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) should be commensurate with the delivery of quality and efficient service,” he said.
He said the country’s oil basins continued to attract very high interest from the major oil and gas companies.
Since the Jubilee discovery, 23 other discoveries had been made and were at various stages of development.
Following remedial work by the Jubilee partners to reverse the decline in oil production, he said, “I am happy to inform you that production has since increased from 60,000 barrels per day (bpd) to over 100,000 bpd.”
“We are confident that it will reach the peak production level of 120,000 bpd by the end of the year,” he added.
Mr Buah said a nuclear energy planning implementation organisation had been established in collaboration with the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), with support from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and that the country was at an advanced stage of receiving a certificate towards the development of its first nuclear power plant.
The minister said as part of his ministry’s commitment to promote the use of LPG as a cleaner source of cooking fuel, the ministry had procured 5,000 cylinders with cook stoves for distribution on a pilot basis.
Mr Buah emphasised the commitment of the government to the promotion of renewable energy utilisation in the country.
The implementation of the Renewable Energy Act, he said, was on course, and that the PURC had completed work on the feed-in-tariffs and would soon gazette and publish feed-in-tariffs for solar, wind, biomass, waste-to-energy and hydro that would be allowed onto the regulated market.
“We have made great effort to ensure that the current challenges we face in the energy sector are adequately addressed. We are going to continue working with dedication and commitment,” he said, adding, “We appreciate how anxious the people of Ghana are to see a speedy resolution of our current challenges.”
Source: Daily Graphic
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