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Ghana Requires $10bn Investment In Energy
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Ghana will require an estimated total of $10 billion investments in its energy sector alone in the medium term, Dr. Joe Oteng-Adjei, Minister of Energy, has said. Out of the amount, $5 billion will be needed for the oil and gas sector while the other $5 billion will be required for generation, transmission and distribution in the power sector.

Since revenue inflows to the economy cannot support the magnitude of investments required for the countrys energy infrastructure, Dr. Oteng Adjei stressed that there is the need to attract the private sector to invest in infrastructural development.

He said these in a speech read on his behalf at the opening of the fourth session of the General Assembly of the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP) in Accra, yesterday. The Assembly, on the theme, Growing and looking forward to energy sufficiency in West Africa, brought together chief executive officers of member utilities to deliberate on the extent of the WAPP project in order to expedite action on its implementation in the beneficiary countries.

The ECOWAS Energy Protocol in 1999 established the WAPP, a cooperative power pooling mechanism for integrating national power system operations into a unified regional electricity market to meet the needs of the population.

Dr. Oteng-Adjei said Ghana had set for itself the goal to increase its power generation installed capacity by 3,000MW from the current level of about 2,000MW to 5,000MW by 2015. Recognizing the huge investment required to achieve this objective, we are encouraging the private sector to invest in the power generation business in Ghana, he said. Consequently, the minister said, agreements had been concluded between the countrys public utilities and independent power producers to install over 2,000 MW power generation facilities.

Meanwhile, he said, the government of Ghana was funding the construction of about 1,000 MW f power plants (both hydro and thermal). The Minister said another challenge facing Ghana like other West African countries was securing cheaper sources of fuel to operate thermal power plants which currently rely on crude oil and diesel.

He, therefore, entreated countries in the sub-region endowed with abundant natural gas to seize the opportunity to generate power and sell it to other countries in the sub-region facing challenges of high cost of power supply. Dr. Oteng-Adjei made it clear that the goals and objectives of the WAPP would not be realized if member countries did not put in place power distribution infrastructure to increase access to electricity supply to its peoples.

As we strive to achieve our vision for WAPP, it is important that we consider alternative sources of generating electricity in our countries, besides the conventional hydro and thermal power plants, he said.

Source: Ghanaian Times

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