Ghanaians must brace themselves for three more months of erratic power supply in the country, the Volta River Authority (VRA), Ghana’s major power producer says.
After going through a month of load-shedding (alternative power supply) between February and March, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), a major power distributor and supplier, announced yet again a new schedule.
Like the previous one, the newly announced schedule also starts from 1800 GMT to 2200 GMT nationwide within groups A, B, C, D, and E, zones of power supply across the country. “The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) wishes to inform the general public, especially its valued customers, that due to supply shortfalls from the Volta River Authority (VRA), VRA has requested ECG to undertake load-shedding,” said the announcement placed in the state-run national newspaper, Daily Graphic, last Friday.
Gertrude Koomson, head of public relations at the VRA, told Xinhua in a telephone interview on Monday that the demand for electricity supply had surged beyond generating capacity, hence the need to shed some load to stabilize the system. “Recently, the power system has become vulnerable and unstable and when the three utilities met they decided that there were enough reserves and redundancy difficulties in the system; so it was decided to embark on load-shedding to manage the shortfall in supply,” Koomson explained.
According to her, when these demands are all met, the system breaks down due to inadequate capacity available to the nation.
Koomson added that the current exercise would persist till June or July when the VRA was expected to bring two plants of 200 Mega Watts (MW) total generating capacity on-stream. A new project at Aboadze, near Takoradi, 218 km west of the capital Accra, is expected to be completed between June and July which will add 100 MW to the generating capacity.
She said another 100 MW plant of the VRA, which broke down last year at Aboadze, had had its faulty parts taken away by the manufacturers for replacement by the middle of the year. The first batch of load-shedding was attributed to a shortfall in gas supply from the West Africa Gas Pipeline in Nigerian.
The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is on contract to supply 130 million cubic feet of gas to the West African sub-region. But, according to Group Executive Director of Gas and Power at the NNPC David Ige, only 70 million to 80 million cubic feet were being supplied due to some constraints, adding, however, that Nigeria had resumed gas supply to Ghana