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VRA Takes Delivery Of Light Crude Oil To Bring On Stream 450MW From Aboadze   
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The Volta River Authority (VRA) has taken delivery of 400,000 barrels of light crude oil to power thermal plants in the Aboadze power enclave in Takoradi in the Western Region, the Deputy Minister of Power, Mr John Jinapor, has said.

Another consignment of 550,000 barrels is expected in the country next week to power thermal plants in the Tema power enclave.

In an interview in Accra yesterday, Mr Jinapor said with the delivery of the crude oil, power supply was expected to improve by 450 megawatts (MW).

Public outrage 

Ghanaians have expressed outrage over recent power outages, with many entertaining fears that the nation is gradually creeping back into the dark days of load shedding, otherwise called dumsor.

Under the circumstances, some consumers are demanding a load-shedding management timetable to enable them to plan their activities, while others are still asking for explanation from officialdom regarding the situation.

No load-shedding timetable 

But, according to Mr Jinapor, there was no need to declare a load-shedding regime or draw a load-shedding management timetable, since the arrival of the light crude oil was expected to bring some form of relief to consumers.

He explained that the power challenges were as a result of inadequate fuel to power the thermal plants at the Tema and Aboadze power enclaves.

The deputy minister said the arrival of the crude oil was expected to make some substantial improvement in the power supply, adding that two units of the Takoradi International Company (TICO) and one unit of the Takoradi Power Company (TAPCO) were expected to produce a total of 450MW.

On how long the crude oil would last, he said the consignment would last for more than a month but indicated that the government had taken additional measures to get enough fuel to power the thermal plants from other sources.

Inadequacies in fuel supply

Gas supply from Nigeria-Gas (N-Gas) to the Tema enclave has, for some time now, been cut due to debts owed by the VRA, while gas supply from the Ghana National Gas Company (Ghana Gas) to the Aboadze power enclave has also reduced considerably as a result of challenges confronting the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel, the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah.

The situation has compelled the Jubilee partners to reduce gas supply to Ghana Gas from 87 million standard cubic feet (scf) a day to 47 million scf.

The Akosombo Dam is also unable to generate power at full capacity due to the low level of water in the dam.

Treatment process 

Mr Jinapor explained that there had been a delay in the arrival of the light crude oil which had been ordered from Nigeria because of sabotage on some oil terminals in that country.

To ensure the effective use of the crude oil, he said, the VRA needed to drain and treat the fuel before usage, a process which would take some few days.

He also said the AMERI plant was running at full capacity with the limited gas supply from Ghana Gas, contrary to reports that the country was losing $9.9 million because the plant had not been running.

The Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) Limited, he said, was providing additional tanks for the storage of crude oil.

VRA tasked 

To ensure that the fuel problem did not reoccur, Mr Jinapor said, the VRA had been tasked to test other types of fuel that would meet its oil specification because the thermal plants could run only on brass and bonny light crude oil.  

He said the VRA had also been tasked to engage other  fuel suppliers, so that the country could fall back on them when it became necessary.

On the debt owed by the VRA to N-Gas, he did not disclose the amount but said the government was in discussions with the top management of the company to pay off the debt, as well as ensure consistent supply of gas.

Sahara speaks 

In a separate interview, the Country Director of Sahara Energy Resource Limited, Mr Tosin Etoni, said the second vessel was loading yesterday and was expected to arrive in Ghana by the weekend.

Sahara Energy is responsible for supplying light crude oil to Ghana

Mr Etoni said the delay in the supply of crude oil was an unfortunate situation which was beyond the capacity of the company to deal with immediately.

He said in spite of the strike in the oil industry in Nigeria and sabotaging of oil terminals in that country, Sahara Energy had defied the odds to meet its oil supply obligations to Ghana.

He said the company was also working to ensure that such delays did not happen again.
Source: Daily Graphic

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