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Major Repair Works On Gas Pipeline From Nigeria Cause Of 'Dumsor' - Energy Ministry   
 
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26-Feb-2020  
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Mr William Owuraku Aidoo
 
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The Ministry of Energy has explained that a major repair works on the gas pipeline from Nigeria to Ghana is the cause of power interruptions [dumsor] currently being experienced in some parts of Ghana.

According to the Ministry of Energy, the repair works were almost complete and by the end of the first week of March 2020, the power supply will return to normal.

"This is going to be for just a few more days, and we will come to normal... It is not as people have been saying that 'dumsor' is back and we've gone back to the bad old days again, no. This is work that needed to be done to ensure the integrity of the pipeline and gas supply to our generators."

"We apologise for the inconvenience... the engineers are working," a Deputy Minister of Energy, Mr William Owuraku Aidoo said.

Mr Owuraku Aidoo explained in a radio interview on Accra based Joy FM, monitored by Graphic Online on Tuesday evening [February 25, 2020], that on January 18th, 19th and 20th, the Ministry of Energy announced through the media that "there was going to be major works on the pipeline, the 500 km pipeline from Nigeria to Ghana which supplies gas to mainly the Tema enclave, that there was going to be cleaning out [in] the gas pipeline and check on the integrity of the inner lining of the gas pipeline."

He said it was also announced that there might well be some interruptions.

"We did take steps to try and reduce to the barest minimum the interruptions in the power supply because we shouldn't forget that Ghana, of course, we have our own indigenous gas that we can flow from the west to the east, but unfortunately because of this work, the gas from the west to the east, that is from Takoradi to the Tema enclave could not also be supplied.

"And also we must also remember that in the government's quest to reduce the tariff regime of electricity in the country, we've asked the power generators to convert as much as possible from the liquid fuels to gas so when this gas supply..., that was cut out, we have been experiencing some challenges, but I'm happy to announce to the good people of this country [Ghana] that within the next few days this whole exercise will come to an end, they've completed the cleaning and analysing the data from the machine that was put through the pipeline.

"So once that is done, gas will be introduced through the Tema end of the pipeline and supply will come back to normal. So we do apologise for the inconvenience that is being caused to Ghanaians..., we are doing something, which is necessary, that has to be done and unfortunately some of the ramificatinos is what we are experiencing now but I am glad to also report that by the first week of March, we'll come back to the normalcy," Mr Owuraku Aidoo said.

What alternative plans were made

Explaining why the announced arrangements to ensure there was no difficulty with electricity supply during the repair works did not work, Mr Owuraku Aidoo said: "Of course we shouldn't forget that we are dealing with machinery here."

"The Kpone Thermal Plant, we've lost one of the generators, which is giving us something in the region of 100 megawatts. We have also lost the TICO Plant [Takoradi International Plant], we've lost parts of it as well, which were not foreseen. We made all these plans and unfortunately this has happened. Cenpower also, we were taking 180, a combination of 360, one turbine is gone off losing 180 so when we combine these unforeseen generators that have gone off..., right now we are losing something in the region of between 100 and 200 megawatts. The plants that have gone down that I have enumerated amounts to well over 300, almost 400 megawatts, so that is what has caused this problem but like I said, this is going to be for a few more days and we will come back to normalcy. So I'll apologise once again on behalf of the Ministry of Energy that we will come back to normal. It is not as people have been saying that 'dumsor' is back and we've gone back to the bad old days again, no. This is work that needed to be done to ensure the integrity of the pipeline and gas supply to our generators." 

Reacting to complaints of fluctuations of power in some homes, Mr Owuraku Aidoo said demand has gone up and some transformers are being overloaded in some parts of the country and that maybe some of the reason some people are having fluctuations but "it is not a question of anybody giving [power] in tots."

The Deputy Minister said it was the hope of the Ministry that the work would have gone on without Ghanaians noticing any difficulty in power supply, "unfortunately, we are working with machinery and some have given us problems and engineers are working on them and I hope that TICO, for example, may come back this evening [Tuesday].

He urged customers experiencing fluctuations to report to their local ECG offices for it to be rectified because that has got nothing to do with generation, it is a distribution problem which can be sorted out locally when reported.

The issue of the power generation came up in Parliament on Tuesday as the former Minister of Energy, Mr Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah addressed journalists outside the chamber following the Minority's decision to abstain from the debate on the State of the Nation Address delivered by President Akufo-Addo last week.

Mr Buah argued that the NDC government deserves credit for the current stable power supply that the country is enjoying.
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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