The prolonged energy situation leading to worsening power cuts in Ghana that has become known as dumsor, has been attributed to the inability of the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) to supply gas to the country as a result of an accident caused to its pipelines by pirates operating in West African waters.
That is also said to have put pressure on the local currency, the cedi, because foreign exchange had to be used to import crude to power thermal plants.
Addressing an IMF Programme Stakeholders meeting today May 20, 2015 in Accra, the Minister of Finance, Mr. Seth Terkper said, for two and a half years, the WAGP was unable to supply gas to power the country’s plants for electricity due to that accident. He also indicated that, for the same reason pressure was put on the cedi because foreign exchange had to be used to import crude, leading to the country’s foreign exchange issues and the depreciation of the cedi.
The West African Gas Pipeline Company announced a shut-down of its system saying it was due to loss of pressure.
The operator of the West African Gas Pipeline announced August 28, 2012 in a press release issued and copied to ghanabusinessnews.com that it had shut down the pipeline system “after experiencing a loss of pressure around the Lome segment of the pipeline this morning,” it said. At that time it didn’t mention the damage caused by pirates.
As a result, the company said it had stopped all gas deliveries to its onshore stations.
Meanwhile, in July 2013, the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, announced to journalists that the repair work and testing on the West African Gas Pipeline had been completed and soon the supply of gas shall resume.
Mr Buah said since last August, the country had to endure a very excruciating load shedding exercise as a result of a damage to the West African Gas Pipeline.
He then said that by close of the year (2013), government is expected to add a total of 534 megawatts to the Bui power plant bringing total installed capacity to 2,845.5 megawatts.
“In 2014, we will add a total 342 megawatts with the completion of 220 megawatt Kpone thermal power plant; 110 megawatt Takoradi II Expansion project and another 12 megawatt solar plant,” he promised.
According to the Minister in 2016, 1,711 megawatts was expected from additional seven planned projects, bringing the aggregate generation capacity to 5,958.5 megawatts.