Ghanaians are to experience minimal impact of the ongoing load-shedding exercise during the Christmas festivities.
According to the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo), measures had been put in place to get extra megawatts of power to reduce the impact of the load shedding on consumers.
“There will still be power outages during the Christmas celebrations but we are working around the clock to ensure that the impact is minimal,” the Manager of the System Control Centre of GRIDCo, Mr Frank Otchere, told the Daily Graphic.
He did not indicate the number of hours that consumers will feel the effect of the load shedding during the festivities except to say that “the effect of the load shedding will be minimal on consumers”.
As part of the measures, Mr Otchere said, officials in the energy sector had arranged with some industries to reduce their load by 104 megawatts (MW), which would be released to the national grid for consumers to have more power.
He added that 50MW of power exported to Togo and Benin would also be taken to add to the national grid while Cote d’Ivoire was also expected to support Ghana.
He explained that currently the country was facing a power deficit of more than 550 MW, representing almost a third of the entire 2,000 MW of power needed for distribution.
The country has, since the beginning of this year, faced power crisis, which has negatively affected the operations of businesses and individuals.
Some areas in the country experience power outages for close to two days, while others have only two hours of power a day.
Mr Otchere further explained that gas supply from Nigeria was currently around 55.5 million standard cubic feet (scf), instead of the about 120 million scf needed.
Since Ghana Gas was not yet operating commercially, he said, it could only produce about 10.3 million scf of gas.
He said the energy crisis was due to the breakdown of some machines, coupled with erratic gas supply from Nigeria and low level of water in the Akosombo Dam.
He said the growth in demand of power necessitated the need for more generators to produce enough power to meet the demand.
“It is a demand-and-supply situation, and the problem has been a shortfall of supply. Therefore, to manage what we have, some places have to go off, while others stay on,” he stated.
Mr Otchere said in 2015 the energy situation was expected to improve, especially with the emergency plans which were being implemented by the government.
Several thermal generation projects initiated by both private and public operators were expected to generate more than 1,000MW.
He said some of the projects were expected to come on stream in the first quarter of 2015 to help the situation improve.
Some of the projects include Kpone (Alstom), the Sunon Asogli expansion, Takoradi 2 combined-cycle expansion, CENIT/TT1PP expansion and Takoradi 3 expansion.
He thanked Ghanaians for bearing with GRIDCo and the other stakeholders during the energy crisis and expressed the hope that the situation would be better next year.
source : Graphic Online