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Businesses Anxiously Await Emergency Power Barges   
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Ghanaians are keenly assessing government, which has promised to provide emergency power barges to address the power crisis to alleviate their plight.

Government recently announced plans to provide emergency power barges by April this year to add 450 megawatts to the national grid.

The President, his Ministers of Energy and Power have all given assurance that the emergency power barges, which would cost about $250 million would arrive in the country.

But with only two weeks to go, there is no glimpse of any barge around.

Businesses are skeptical about the plans of government to obtain the power barges.

Ghana currently needs over 2,000 megawatts of power, however energy production from all thermal and hydroelectric sources is below 1,300 megawatts.

Reaction of entrepreneurs

Two entrepreneurs, who spoke to Joy FM on Wednesday, cast doubts over the government’s moves to end ‘dumsor.’

Mabel Simpson, Creative Director of Msimps, noted that she had recorded the worst sales ever since she started her business five years ago.

She said her generator set has become the foremost source of power for her business.

“I run my generator for 22 hours straight,” she indicated, adding that she never expected the power crisis to worsen.

Ms Simpson said she had planned to engage more people this year but since a greater amount of her revenue had been used to fuel the generator set, she cannot do so.
Kwame Kusi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Oilseed Consult,a website and business application developer, said his anticipation of a quick resolve of the crisis based on the numerous promises by government has completely waned.

Mr Kusi said he is being forced to acquire a bigger generator set because of frequent break downs.

“If you don’t have electricity in the morning then you have to stay up at night to work, and there is the security concern because if at about 12 midnight you stay up to work, it doesn’t feel too good.”

Blow to media houses

The current power crisis has negatively affected the operations of media houses in the country, especially the private media, some of whom spend almost GH¢1,400.00 each day to purchase fuel to power their plants.

This is against a cover price of GH¢2.00 averagely which makes it difficult to break even, let alone to make any profits at all.

ACEP’s doubts

The African Center for Energy Policy (ACEP), has consistently described government’s plan as unrealistic.
The think-tank said there are no arrangements at the Tema Harbour to show government’s preparedness to receive the emergency power barges.
It additionally mentioned that government’s agreement with Turkish company Karpower to bring in the power barges has not been finalized.

Power Minister, Dr Kwabena Donkor vowed to resign if government fails to end the power crisis in the country by the end of this year.
Source: Daily Guide

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