High electricity cost killing businesses – Nduom

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The President of Groupe Nduom Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom has bemoaned the ‘alarming increasing cost of electricity’ in the country, describing it as a huge threat to the survival and growth of businesses.

He said businesses in the country are already drowning in the doldrums of the macro-economic environment, and such an astronomic rise in the cost of essential element like electricity will ruin businesses — which will eventually cripple the country’s socio-economic development.

Dr. Nduom stated that in as much as government is anxious to finding lasting solution to the perennial energy crisis, it must take into consideration the cost consumers will have to pay. “Energy is not just a technical issue of generating power; it’s a managerial and financial issue as well. If the financial part doesn’t match with the technical part, the whole energy sector and economy will collapse.

“Per the current situation, we have exchanged one problem for another — no power for high cost of power. There should be cost-effectiveness in the energy sector; there should be ability to pay. We can’t say power at all costs and then pile additional taxes on the state. Government must look at solving the energy problem for businesses and people to live, but not solve the problem for people to die or be pushed into poverty.”

The renowned entrepreneur was speaking at a lecture in Sunyani that was organised by the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) of the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UNER) in Sunyani. It was under the theme ‘Enhancing Economic Growth through Entrepreneurship to Promote National Development’.

Dr. Nduom also raised alarm over plans by the Volta River Authority (VRA) and its Chinese partner, Shenzhen Energy Group Co. Ltd., to construct a 700MW coal-fired plant at Aboano in the Ekumfi district of the Central Region, saying: “The health hazards associated with coal plants should discourage managers of the energy sector from continuing with that deal.

“Why coal when its health effects are proven to be life-shortening? Something other people are afraid of we should not take to a poor area in the country and ask them whether they like it or not. We should know better in the 21st century, when everybody is talking about renewable energy such as solar but not a dangerous item like coal,” he stated.

The China-African Development Fund (CADFund) is expected to provide a long-term loan of US$1.5billion for the construction of two coal-fired plants to help meet the country’s increasing energy demand. Per the arrangement, the plant will be expanded either by 4×350MW (or 2×600MW) supercritical coal-fired generating units in the future, subject to the demand for power in the country.

 

Source: B & FT

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