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Power Still In Short Supply
 
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30-May-2013  
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For many years now, the country has been in dire need of power for domestic use and to power businesses.

Domestic power users have had to re-order their endeavours because of the perennial power outages, while the cost of doing business has shot up, as business owners have to buy extra fuel to run their generating sets.

The power outages started when some pipelines of the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo) carrying gas from Nigeria were damaged, stalling plans for the supply of gas to power thermal plants for the generation of electricity.

We have come a long way, though, with the coming on stream of 133 megawatts of power from the ongoing Bui Power Project and the T-3 project in the Western Region.

A few weeks ago, many Ghanaians heaved a sigh of relief following signs of improvement in the power situation in the country. Indeed, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) eased its planned load-shedding programme, restoring the operations of particularly small-scale businesses in the night.

Signals from the corridors of the power companies indicate that that relief from the debilitating power outages was just a nine days’ wonder because we have been asked to prepare to live with an extensive load-shedding regime for at least one week.

It appears the authorities, including officials of the VRA, the ECG and the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo), would want to concede the fact that they do not have adequate funds to run their operations.

The Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Energy, Dr Kwabena Donkor, has warned that if nothing is done to salvage the VRA, it will collapse.

There is currently a raging debate over whether subsidies should be removed, so that consumers will pay economic tariffs, but others have argued that such a situation will create difficulties for poor consumers.

However, the challenges of the utility companies now look like the chicken and egg situation where we are unable to tell which takes precedent over the other.

Whichever way the situation is looked at, the Daily Graphic thinks the power challenge requires urgent fix, so that individuals and companies can get adequate power for their domestic and commercial operations.

An efficient power regime drives the wheels of progress in any society and it is about time we woke up to confront the issues in the power sector.

We may have to bite the bullet by adjusting tariffs upwards if that is the only option available to us to bring about a very efficient power supply regime in the country.

The Daily Graphic is convinced that the government has not done enough to deal with the power situation, beyond adding to the generation, by not paying what it owes the VRA and the ECG to enable them to provide efficient power services for consumers.

It will be disastrous if we look on unconcerned for the VRA and the ECG to collapse because we are unable to provide them with the resources to operate at optimum levels.

The Daily Graphic calls on the government to retool the VRA, GRIDCo and the ECG now to assure the people of efficient power at all times.
 
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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