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10-Feb-2015  
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Presently, there is no doubt that Ghanaians are reeling under the agonizing and severest ever power crisis in the nation’s history in their homes and businesses, there is also no doubt that the focused administration of President Mahama is silently ‘plotting’ an ENERGY REVOLUTION that in the short term would resolve the crisis and in the medium to long term make the country self-sufficient in energy resources.

Not only that, the country is most likely to become a net exporter of energy resources to the neighboring countries.

The government is steadily but quickly getting its house in order regarding the final resolution of the current energy crisis that has come about as a result of many years of lip service paid to the sector by successive regimes.

President Mahama, as available data shows is the only President that has put down an elaborate strategy to deal with the crisis head-on regardless of the challenges.

In the immediate instance, government has commandeered the introduction of emergency power badges with the capacity of about 1000MW to resolve the situation .

In a recent encounter with the press, the new minister for Power, Dr. Kwabena Donkor was categorical on the Mahama administration’s unrelenting vigour and commitment to resolve the hard-hitting energy crisis with a workable and plausible blueprint that would all remove doubts in the minds of even the most ruthless cynics and the critics of the administration.

“Our primary focus however, is to address the short term challenges without losing focus on our medium term development plans.
“To this end the Ministry is working on different Emergency Power arrangements to shore up the supply situation. These arrangements will eventually increase our generation capacity by about 1,000MW in the short term and ultimately provide us the platform to pursue the medium to long term solutions. We are hopeful that these measures will stabilize the situation. To achieve this, the following power plants are being pursued: -250MW project at Aboadze, -2 x 225MW Power ship and -250MW GE Plant.

“Whilst the above is ongoing, we shall continue to work assiduously to restore already existing plants that have been shut down in order to mitigate the situation.

“In addition to this, the Ministry of Power in collaboration with the relevant stakeholders have already made significant progress towards the completion and commissioning of the under-listed projects; 220MW Kpone Thermal Power Project (KTPP) and 110MW Tico Expansion Project,” the hard working minister pointed out.

The successive implementation of the above strategy mentioned by the power minister is enough to resolve the heart-breaking energy crisis that Ghanaians have been plunged into at the moment with the concomitant repercussions to households and businesses.

However, being a leader with foresight with the knack for resolving the problems of the next generation just as his predecessor and mentor, President Dr. Nkrumah, President Mahama has again put earth-shuttering measures to achieve the much-trumpeted 5000MW he promised the people of this country in the medium to long term.

“In the medium term, the Ministry is taking steps to add in excess of 3,000MW through the following projects: 360MW Asogli Phase 2 Project (sod has been cut), 350MW CenPower Project (Sod has been cut) 360MWJacobsen Project (Parliamentary approval obtained for GCSA) 240MW Amandi Project (Parliamentary approval obtained for GCSA), GE 1,000 Project (Discussions ongoing) 1,000MW of ‘clean’ coal into the generation mix and use of solar in households and hotels for basic lighting and water heating to free grid power for industrial use
“The purpose of adding on substantial generation capacities is to create the needed Reserve Margin to efficiently and effectively run a power supply system that is robust and resilient to meet our increasing demand. With the adequate Reserve Margin, planned and unplanned shut down of power plants would not result in any deficit in generation as it is today,” the minister said.

The addition of all the aforementioned capacity in the power sector will not only guarantee the nation sufficient energy resources in the long term, but also ensure that the nation becomes a net exporter of power as envisaged by President Mahama.

In a recent paper copied to this newspaper, an energy expert Alhaji Mustapha Iddrisu described these interventions by President John Dramani Mahama in the energy sector as unparalleled and historic.
According to the Takoradi-based energy expert no government in the recent history of Ghana has embarked on ambitious and landmark projects to salvage the ailing energy sector within a short period of time like President Mahama.

In a well-researched article copied to The aL-hAJJ,Alhaji Mustapha Iddrisu noted that, ongoing projects and agreements the Mahama-led government has signed with several multinationals when completed will added 5,000MW to present installed capacity 2845MW.

“As far as i am concerned as an energy analyst, no government in the recent history of Ghana had the benefit of these landmark interventions. The lasting solution to this perennial electricity crisis is nigh. It is my candid opinion that the president Mahama's interventions in the energy sector within this short period of time are unprecedented and historic,” he stated.

While advising that the nationwide load shedding exercise needed to be addressed with strategic interventions and investments in the energy sector, Alhaji Iddrisu stated that the Mahama-led government has left no stone unturned in order to nib the debilitating problem in the bud.

Explaining measures being taken by government to address the challenges, the energy expert said, as an interim measure, the government, led by the minister of energy has deployed emergency power ship systems to Ghana.

These power ship systems, he noted, are expected to commence commercial operations in the 1st and 2nd Quarters of 2015 aims at generating a total of 225 MW altogether.

He added “Also, the ongoing 110MW expansion work on the TICO plant, the Kpone Thermal Power Plant's unit 1& 2 (220MW) and 25MW from Trojan Power are all expected to complete this year. All these will bring to fruition the target of 355 MW to our installed generation capacity by the end of 2015. This will definitely reduce drastically the intensity of the load shedding as currently experienced in the country.”

As part of the Mahama administration’s long term measures at eradicating the energy crisis completely, AlhajiIddrisu, revealed that government has considered diversifying the country's generation mix further to include coal fired power plants.

“To this end, the enabling environment has been created for GENSA-Chirano Mines to establish a small 30MW coal power plant with a maximum generation capacity of up to 90MW which is due to be commissioned soon,” he explained

According to him the most far-reaching decision taken by the government is the partnership deal struck between Volta River Authority (VRA) and Shenzhen Energy Group, the parent company of SunonAsogli, to develop a total of 1200MW of coal fired power plant which is expected to be completed in 2018.

Giving further details on President John Mahama’s intervention at the energy sector, Alhaji Mustapha Iddrisu stated that:

“Approvals of the legislature and cabinet for the constructions of 350MW and 360MW by Cenpower and Jacobsen Electro respectively have also been given. The Vice President, KwesiAmissah Arthur, has already cut the sod on 29th January, 2015 for the commencement of its construction at Kpone in Grater-Accra Region. The ceremony has paved way for CEN Power to invest a whooping sum of 900 million dollar towards the realization of the 350MW power plant. These important interventions are expected to commence soon and due for commercial operations in 2017.

Furthermore, the construction of about 1,000MW by the General Electric (GE) is in the pipeline. The first phase of up to 360MW is proposed to be completed by the last quarter of 2016. Thankfully, the CEO, Jeffrey R. Immelt, arrived in Ghana on 27th January, 2015 to finalize the agreement with the government. It is my hope that his meeting with the president would be fruitful. If this intervention by the government is finalized, the General Electric will add about 300 megawatts of electricity to the national grid by the end of 2016 and the second phase will be adding about 700MW, bringing it to a total of 1,000MW by the end of 2018. It is refreshing that $1 billion power project is positioned the Western Region making it the hub of thermal electricity generation in Ghana.

On 27th January, 2015, the government took a bold step with Sankofa project agreement for the development of gas with the potential to produce about 1,100MW of electricity. The Minister of Energy and Petroleum under the watch of the president signed this agreement at the Peduase Lodge. It is projected that the project will come to fruition in 2017 and will deliver up to 170 million standard cubic feet of gas daily up to 20 year period.

It is expected that more gas will come on stream from the newly discovered oil fields such as Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme (TEN) to augment our ever increasing demand of gas. These oil fields have associated gas estimated to add 1.15 trillion cubic feet over the production period. This implies more gas for the powering of our thermal plants. The constant supply of gas would assure the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and stimulate the needed investment in the power sector. The link between these resources to overcoming the electricity challenges in the country is instructive.
That is where the General Electric comes in handy.

As alluded to by President John Mahama, the TEN project has the potential of generating about 1,100 megawatts of electricity that could be utilised by the General Electric Company.

Anoher enviable intervention by the current government is in the area of renewable energy. Subsequent to the gazette and publication of the Feed-in-Tariffs, the Energy Commission has issued a total of 3,907MW of Provisional Licences to thirty-seven (37) to Independent Power Producers. Out of this, a total capacity of over 2000MW will be generated from solar farms. Renewable energy is green sources of electricity generation with a minimum operating expenditure.

However, the tax regime on the solar panels should be looked at again in order to bring down the initial capital expenditure. All these bold interventions and policies initiated by the government have given the boost towards averting the impending energy crisis in the country.”





 
 
Source: The Al-Hajj
 
 

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