President John Mahama’s declaration that 800 MegaWatts of Power has been added to the country’s generation mix has been challenged by energy policy-think tank, African Center for Energy Policy (ACEP).
ACEP has put the figure at 580megawatts.
Sounding triumphant, President John Mahama declared that after lots of hard work “we have achieved the fastest mobilisation of power in the history of Ghana. About 800MW of power has been added to our generation within the shortest period of time”.
It comes after three years of the power crisis that cost the nation $680mllion in 2014 chipping off 2% of Ghana’s GDP, economic policy institute, ISSER has said.
Forced to look for medium-term solutions government began assembling independent power producers such as AMERI and KARPOWER to shore up scare megawatt generation from Ghana’s own generation sources. Ghana needed between 450 to 550 megawatts to end load shedding.
Listing new power additions to bridge the gap, President Mahama broke down the 800 megawatts to include
“Finalising and commissioning KTPP 220MW, Commissioning TICO combined cycle 110MW, mobilising Karpower 220MW and Ameri 250MW have added extra power to our transmission grid.180 MW of Asogli phase II is also available as soon as we can get extra gas for it”.
The Deputy Executive Director of ACEP, Ben Boakye however pointed out that new sources from Karpower 225 megawatts, Ameri 250 and steam turbines at TICO will put the current figure at 580megawatts.
“800 megawatts? I didn’t get how the computation was done…. I don’t know where the excess is coming from” he questioned the President’s statements.
Ben Boakye explained that power generation is not enough to bring the energy-consuming state-owned aluminium smelter VALCO. The company has been shut down for lack of 380MW needed to operate.
The energy expert said while it is true that power generation from thermal was increasing, dwindling hydro source is negating new power additions.The country relies mainly TICO in Takoradi for thermal power and Akosombo for hydropower.
In an example, he said Akosombo hydro dam used to contribute 600-700 megawatts in 2014. It was down to about 300 to 370 megawatts in 2015.
“While you are adding generation from thermal, Akosombo is increasingly not available”.
ACEP warned that “if the rains continue to delay we may have to shut down some turbines”
The President has said more work needs to be done to consign Ghana’s recurring energy crisis into the dustbin of history, a view ACEP endorsed.