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Even before the emergency power barges procured by the Mahama administration to cure the debilitating power rationing affecting many Ghanaians arrive in the country, The aL-hAJJ can confirm that the agonizing situation is likely to normalize earlier than thought.

Reliable information reaching this paper confirms our Tuesday, 5 May 2015 publication that the frustrating load shedding, known in the local parlance as dumsor, would begin to ease this month.

Information obtained from managers of the power sector indicates that the about 600MW shortfall in the country’s installed capacity which necessitated the ongoing distressing power outages has as at last Friday, been reduced to around 240MW.

This welcoming development, as evident in testimonies by many Ghanaians, especially those living in the capital city, Accra, has considerably reduced the current load shedding exercise which has brought untold hardship to many people.

Although gas supplies from Nigeria was reported on Sunday to have been cut due to industrial action by the country's energy workers leading to the shutdown of Sunon Asogli thermal plant; VRA has assured Ghanaians of adequate fallback measures.

The aL-hAJJ early this month reported that barring any last minute glitch, there could be great improvement in the load shedding management by Friday, May 08, 2015 following the resumption of operations at the multimillion Gas processing Plant at Atuabo in the Western region and the coming on stream of some thermal plants undergoing maintenance.

The paper’s sources at the nation’s largest power producer, Volta River Authority, disclosed that the VRA has started receiving gas from the Atuabo Gas plant through the Aboadze thermal enclave to power its machines.

“The VRA is said to have switched all five of its units to gas to replace light crude, which will generate about 500 megawatts to minimize the power outages,” the paper reported.
Since Friday, May 5, 2015, when the paper made the prediction, there has been great improvement in power supply to the Ghanaian populace especially in the nation's capital, Accra and the second largest city of Kumasi, two cities that have been most affected.

The country’s power generation capacity has in the last two years been weakened by low level of water in the Akosombo and Bui Dams, inadequate gas supply from Nigeria to power the country’s thermal plants, and the extended unexpected and planned maintenance of the various power plants.

In order to manage the country’s power deficit, the power authorities have resorted to load shedding to match demand while measures are being pursued to restore normal power supply in the country before the end of the year.

As part of the short term measures, government has signed an agreement with a Turkish firm, Karpowership, to deliver two emergency power barges by the last quarter of this year. The two barges are expected to supply the country with 450 megawatts of power.

Ahead of the two power barges, managers of Karpowership have offered the Electricity Company of Ghana, an interim 120 megawatts power ship to be delivered to Ghana in August. Another power barge with capacity of producing 250 MW is also expected from Dubai.

Among the medium to long term measures put in place by the government to address the power crisis include the coming on stream of the 200 MW Kpone Thermal Plant, 1,000 MW from General Electricity, 360 MW from Jacobsen, 360 MW from Cenit Power and 360 from the phase two the Sunon-Asogli project.

Ghana has exhausted all its hydro generation resources, and is currently exploring the use of coal and other renewable sources as a long term measure to increase power generation beyond the 5,000 MW targeted by 2016.

Meanwhile, Ghana National Gas Company, operators of the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant, which was shut down for planned statutory maintenance, has started full operations following completion of its first mandatory maintenance.

This development, and the increase in gas supplies from Nigeria has helped to reduce the country’s power deficit from 600MW to 240MW. The 240MW deficit is expected to further reduce drasically by the end of August, perhaps to completely end the dumsor.

Source: The Al-Hajj

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