Gaso petroleum
Gaso petroleum

Shortage of gas from the country’s own gas fields and the West African gas pipeline can return Ghana into the era of acute energy shortage, Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP) warned here on Wednesday.

Gaso petroleum
Gaso petroleum
It said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) led administration led by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo should make solving the challenges relating to gas supply its primary focus in the first quarter of 2017.

Addressing the media Deputy Executive Director for ACEP, Benjamin Boakye conceded that the additional generation capacity added to installed grid capacity, no doubt, helped to provide power to replace unavailable power from some of the thermal plants as well as the T3 thermal plant, Akosombo, Kpong Hydro dams.

“The power sector challenges are far from over regardless of the relative stability in supply to consumers today …the other challenges such as financial distress of the utility companies, fuel supply security, high tariff, and suppressed demand, do not only threaten the stability of power supply, but explosion of the economy as a whole,” Boakye warned.

Although government introduces the energy sector levy in the 2016 budget to deal with the 4.4 billion Ghana cedis or 1.02 billion dollars legacy debts of the utility companies to commercial banks, with debt re-negotiating spearheaded by former Minister for Finance, Seth Terkper ACEP observed that the sector is not out of the woods yet.

“The utility companies continue to reel under financial distress. The recent attempts at restructuring their indebtedness to the banks have not yet translated to improved relationship and confidence in the sector by the banks,” the ACEP official noted.

For that reason, Boakye said top priority of government should be fuel supply for the thermal plants, which means a renegotiation of the terms of gas supply from Nigeria as some of the thermal plants in Western Ghana are nearing their mandatory servicing period.

From the Energy sector levy. government has so far paid about 250 million cedis or 58 million dollars to the commercial banks.

He added that just nine million standard cubic feet of gas coming from Nigeria daily was woefully inadequate for the country.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of state owned Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) Alex Mould has urged the government to ensure that money owed by state power generating firm, Volta River Authority (VRA) paid as soon as possible.

Speaking to local citi fm radio station, the CEO said government must ensure that State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), THE Electricity Company of Ghan a(ECG) and the power sector abide by the rules of engagement agreed on and that all the revenue should be put in the collection account and everybody that generates part of that megawatts that generated that revenue should be paid for its amount.

Ghana’s two and half year old crippling energy crisis abated from the end of 2015 with just pockets of power outages throughout last year, bringing considerable relief to businesses and domestic consumers. Enditem

Source: Justice Lee Adoboe

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