The Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) has declined to explain the cause of the worsening power crisis situation in the country.
The Finder’s investigations have revealed that for the past two weeks, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has been shedding between 500 and 600 megawatts of power at the request of GRIDCo, thus worsening the power cuts.
When ECG was shedding 400 megawatts, consumers received power for 24 hours and cut off for 12 hours.
Shedding additional 200 megawatts is now giving consumers 12-hour power and 24-hour darkness.
Some consumers complain that they receive power for only six hours and darkness for more than 24 hours while some stay in darkness for days without any explanation.
Shedding 200 megawatts means cutting power to three regions; namely, Central, Eastern and Volta.
According to our investigations, in some instances, GRIDCo even shuts down bulk distribution stations, which affects important installations such as hospitals, without prior notice to ECG.
When The Finder contacted Mr Frank Otchere, the Manager of the System Control Centre of GRIDCo, for explanation, he refused to speak.
ECG, GRIDCo and power producers have been meeting since last week to agree on a new load-shedding timetable to confirm power for 24 hours and cut off for 12 hours.
The inconclusive meeting is expected to be continued today and an agreement reached on a new load-shedding timetable.
Consequently, mining companies are to shed more of the power they consume as part of efforts to manage the country’s deteriorating energy crisis.
The firms are to further cut their power consumption by shedding a little over 30% from the initial 25% agreed last December.
This means the mining companies would virtually be shutting down their operations every two days, but it is unclear how this could ease the ongoing load shedding for consumers and other businesses.
The Ghana Mine Workers Union is worried the development could lead to job losses in the industry.
The load-shedding exercise was extended to all industrial zones across the country from December 1, 2014.
The industrial zones, since the exercise took off, were exempted, with residential areas being affected the most.
Employers are dismissing workers and others are reducing salaries of workers because of the worsening power crisis in the country.
This is the way some industries are dealing with the impact of the extension of load shedding to the industrial areas.
Some companies say the drastic measures would be necessary to enable them contain the situation.
The inability of the Volta River Authority (VRA) to utilise the 120 million standard cubic feet of gas per day produced by the Jubilee partners is partly responsible for the worsening power crisis.
VRA can generate 550 megawatts of power every day from 120 million standard cubic feet of gas per day.
The power crisis is worsening because the VRA has failed to meet the deadline given to restore its thermal plants in Takoradi to utilise the 120 million standard cubic feet of gas.
VRA first promised to complete the repair works in October last year, but shifted it to December ending.
But one month into the New Year, VRA now says Ghanaians should wait until March before the plants can be ready to utilise the 120 million standard cubic feet gas per day to generate 550 megawatts to ameliorate the worsening power cuts.
Currently, Jubilee partners and Ghana Gas Company are ready to give VRA 120 million standard cubic feet of gas per day, but VRA cannot take all.
VRA is able to take between 53 million and 60 million standard cubic feet of gas per day to generate 230 megawatts of power a day.
According to the VRA, it is unable to fully utilise the gas produced by the Ghana National Gas Company because some of its plants are down.
Source: The Finder
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