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NPP Pooh-Poohs NDC's "Unprecedented Achievements" In Energy Sector
 
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24-Oct-2012  
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Nana Akomea
 
 
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The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has discounted the unprecedented achievements claimed by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) regarding the energy sector.

The NDC manifesto reveals that under the leadership of the NDC government, 376 megawatts generation capacity of electricity has been added to the base capacity in 2011.

But speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, the Communications Director of the NPP, Nana Akomea, disclosed that these achievements are based on some energy projects initiated during the Kufour administration and refuted the first-time achievements mentioned in the 2012 NDC manifesto.

Nana Akomea slammed the government for the load-shedding exercise currently taking place across the country saying; "The NPP wants to bring new thinking into every aspect of Ghanaian life, including even load shedding. When it becomes necessary to ration electricity, the NPP will depart from the current situation where whole areas are blacked out totally."


Below is a copy of the statement read by the NPP at the press conference.
 



NPP PRESS CONFERENCE ON THE POWER SECTOR CHALLENGES IN GHANA

This nation has over the past several months been suffering from an electricity load shedding programme. This situation is having a terrible toll on businesses, on industries and on the livelihood, welfare and social lives of millions of Ghanaians. Ghanaians displaying their normal sense of humour even under terrible circumstances have christened the phenomenon “dum so dum so”.

Traditionally, Ghanaians have suffered such prolonged load shedding/rationing when the Akosombo Dam is not operating at maximum capacity due to drought or some other natural contingency. The current prolonged electricity rationing is happening when Akosombo is operating normally. The official explanation has been that the Asogli Plant (which should supply 200MW) is out of function due to lack of gas from the West Africa Gas Pipeline (WAGP).

In the meantime, the NDC government has been boasting about their so called “unprecedented” achievements in electricity generating capacity over the last 3 1/2   years. This “unprecedented” boast is being made and repeated even as the nation has for months been suffering from electricity rationing.

The NDC boasts in their 2012 manifesto “with electricity, a 376 MW generation capacity was added to the base capacity in 2011; an additional 258MW is to be added by the end of 2012”

But Ladies and Gentlemen, the NDC shamefully did not mention that the electricity projects that have yielded the 376 MW were all initiated or facilitated by the NPP.

These are:


PLANT


CAPACITY


DEPENDABLE


STATUS


Tema Thermal 1


126


100


Completed and on trial in 2008


Tema Thermal 2


50


45


By 2008  it was left with the last invoice (the British Diplomat’s Project)


Asogli


200


180


Sod cut by – President Kufuor. Given tax exemptions to facilitate the project.


 

The NDC has also said they will be adding 258 MW by end 2012, which would fill in the Asogli deficit and solve the current load shedding. The government is expecting this new generation from two plants – the Takoradi 3 , and the CENIT Projects.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Takoradi 3 was initiated by the NPP. Negotiations had been completed, contracts  signed and Parliamentary approval was being sought. The CENIT Project (formerly called OSONOR , was started in 2008).

Ladies and Gentlemen , I now present  a table summarizing the status of investments in generating capacity before the NPP left office in 2008.


PLANT


CAPACITY


STATUS BY 2008


Tema Thermal1


126


On stream


Temal Thermal 2


50


On stream


Mine Reserve Plant


80


On stream


Sunon – Asogli power plant


200


On stream


Osagyefo Power Barge


125


Litigation


Kpone Power Plant


110


2013


CENIT Thermal


126


On trial test


Takoradi T3 VRA Thermal


132


On Trial Test


Bui Hydroelectric VRA Hydro


400


2013


CEN POWER Thermal


110


2013


Takoradi T2 ( Steam Comp)


110


2013


 

ENERGY CONSERVATION
In 2007, also as a response to the crisis caused by drought, the NPP embarked on  a massive energy conservation project. Six million energy saving lamps (CFLs) were distributed free of charge to Ghanaians. This reduced peak demand for electricity by 124 MW. It would have cost up to $200M to build a plant to generate 124MW !

 

TRANSMISSION AND DISTRITBUTION
NPP put in $500m investment in to the distribution system, funded from the World Bank, Norwegian Government and the Sovereign Bonds.

TRANSMISSION
NPP established GRIDCO in 2007, and invested over $40m of the Sovereign Bond funds into the transmission system.

RURAL ELECTRIFICATION
The NDC Government claimed to have extended rural electrification to more communities in 3 ½ years than the NPP did in 8 years.

Ladies and Gentlemen, when you move from the propaganda, you find that the rural electrification projects claimed by the NDC were either planned or initiated by the NPP, which also secured funds for them, starting from 2007.

They include:
  1. $90m from China to connect 580 communities. 300 connected by end of 2008.
  2. Another $ 170 m also from China, to connect 700 communities.
  3. $ 350m secured in 2008  from United States EXIM bank to connect 2000 communities.
  4. € 10m secured in 2008 from BNP Paribas, to connect 79 communities.


 

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is fair to observe that the 8 year NPP government has been the government with the most comprehensive programmes for the electricity sector since the 4th Republic.

NPP NEW THINKING ON LOAD SHEDDING
As I have indicated, the months old current load shedding, which is having a terrible effect on all of us , is “unprecedented “, in that it is happening even when Akosombo is operating normally.

The NPP wants to bring new thinking into every aspect of Ghanaian life, including even load shedding. When it becomes necessary to ration electricity, the NPP will depart from the current situation where whole areas are blacked out totally.

There are today simple (radio controlled) domestic devices that shut off parts of the electricity supply (say higher power consuming devices), leaving power available for essentials (lighting, radio etc). The current mode of total blackout is archaic and too distressful.

OTHER BACKUP ARRANGEMENTS
Furthermore, the NPP plans to assist domestic consumers to acquire portable, battery operated power banks (akin to UPS) that store power and make it available for considerable time when the mains is off.

Another backup arrangement is to assist and encourage consumers to install simple, inexpensive solar systems to provide power to essential domestic devices when the mains are off.

CONCLUSION
The NPP believes that energy is essential for industrial take off and economic transformation in Ghana. Our Presidential Candidate is solidly committed to investment, just yesterday, outlined his commitment to investment in energy to spur our industrial take off. Ghanaians should support the NPP to achieve this energy goals for Ghana.
 
 
Source: Peacefmonline.com/Ghana
 
 

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