The Minister of Energy, Mr John-Peter Amewu, has allayed the fear among Ghanaians that the era when the country had consistent and persistent shortfall in power supply, otherwise known as ‘dumsor’, is back.
“We are in the era when there is installed capacity, but what we need to do is change that installed capacity to availability,” he said.
By so doing, Mr Amewu said, “we have to stop the flow of gas, and this takes away almost about 650 megawatts (MW) of power, a situation which explains the intermittent shortfall that we are witnessing”.
He apologised to Ghanaians for the recent intermittent supply of power but insisted that “we are never back to the era when we had consistent persistent shortfall in supply”.
The minister was responding to a question in relation to the recent power outages at a town hall meeting in Accra yesterday.
“Fortunately, I had the opportunity to visit the site, and I can assure the people of this country that work is progressing.
The best thing we have to do is speed up the process,” he added, saying the process would be completed by April 12, this year.
Economic Management Team
The meeting, organised by the government’s Economic Management Team (EMT), chaired by the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, was on the theme: “Our progress, our status and our future”.
The EMT comprises the Minister of Energy, Mr Amewu; the Minister of Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei; the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto; the Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo; the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen; the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, and the Minister of Planning, Professor Gyan Baffour.
Prof Joe Amoako-Tuffour is the secretary to the committee.
Explaining further, Mr Amewu said about 60 per cent of the power plants relied largely on gas and, therefore, the shutdown of the gas plants in Takoradi was to make provision for the tie-in that was being undertaken.
“It means all these plants that are relying on gas will no longer have access to feed on gas, but what we have done through the benevolence of the Ministry of Finance is that sufficient funds were made available to procure light crude oil, diesel and heavy fuel for the plants that rely on both gas and fuel.
“Some plants are dualised, as they can feed both on light crude or gas. All these plants that I have mentioned, such as AMERI, TICO, KTTP, do not have that capacity; they only rely on gas.
So the shortfall we are seeing currently is as a result of the migration largely from the gas-fired plant to the light crude heavy fuel and also the diesel plant.
We currently have sufficient diesel at the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR),” he said.
The Energy Minister said the President had directed that the plants that depended on fuel or gas be relocated to areas close to the source of the energy.
That, he explained, was because when the gas travelled from Takoradi to Tema, it cost about $2.7 million just for the tariff for one month.
“The travelling cost of gas will cost the country in the range of about $60 million. That is just the tariff for the volume of gas that you ship from Takoradi to Tema.
“The plan, therefore, is that to avoid this cost, let us move the plant from Tema to Takoradi.
This is a very good management idea. The stranded gas means that you have gas but you are feeding on other expensive fuel because some of the plants are still in Tema that we cannot move.
“There are some that are fixed and cannot be moved.
Let us, therefore, move some gas from Takoradi to the plant and that is cheaper because it reduces the cost by more than seven per cent,” he explained.
Benefits of the tie-in process
He said the tie-in process, when completed, would expand the current capacity of 130 standard cubic metres of gas a day to more than 405 standard cubic meters a day and also provide opportunities for the future.
That, he said, was because “we are a forward-looking government, we are not looking at elections but the future, so we begin to provide opportunities for future expansion”.
“The government’s idea of One district, One factory (1D1F) has made us to add more valves, so that in future power agencies or other industries that want to rely on gas can easily tap in without a shutdown because we are learning from our experience,” he stated.
Earlier, the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, in his presentation, had stressed the importance of the energy sector, which he said was key to the country’s.