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VRA Loses US$20m   
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Kweku Awotwi, VRA Boss
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The Volta River Authority (VRA) is expected to lose US$20 million between now and next month due to the inability of the West Africa Gas Pipeline Company (WAGPCo) to supply it with gas.

Kweku Awotwi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of VRA, who disclosed this at a press conference yesterday in Accra, said WAGPCo supplies VRA with 90,000 British Thermal Units (BTU) of liquefied petroleum gas daily but the supply was reduced to 60,000 BTU as a result of some technical problems encountered by the supplier.

The 30,000 BTU shortage, Mr Awotwi explained, will make it impossible for VRA to operate its third turbine and that costs it between US$7.5 and US$10 million a month.

“Last year, VRA’s daily supply was 87,000 BTU. We promised more gas last year but we are getting very little.

We are not getting gas as promised. The supply is still erratic. A few days ago, it went to zero,” he mentioned.

According to him, when such a situation happens, VRA tries to switch over to the use of crude oil to power its machines but this culminates in mechanical problems for our machines.

“This is because most supplies coming from Nigeria are moisture laden. WAGPCo sometimes orders the gas not to come, especially, if there’s too much moisture in the consignment from Nigeria. This forces the pipelines to shut.”

Explaining that VRA fixed its plant at Tema last week, he said, “We are still having problems with the Takoradi Plant. Asogli is not running while VRA is also not running. Another, TICO, is also not running as a result of mechanical maintenance.”

He added that politics in Nigeria and the resolve of President Goodluck Jonathan to concentrate much of its gas supply in that country was affecting supply to Ghana.

Noting that the problem will be short-lived, he said Ghana currently needs a daily supply of 1,600 megawatts power for both domestic and industrial use.

“Between this year and next year, 960 megawatts would be added to the national power pool. When the regulators gave us good tariffs, we made some good profits but now we are struggling to break even.”

The gas shortage is expected to affect the operations of GRIDCo, ECG and the Northern Electrification Department (NED).

From 1967 to 2010, electricity supply increased between 4 and 5 percent each year. Over the last few years, it has increased to between 10 and 11 percent. With the oil production therefore it is expected to go up.

“This supposes that 212 megawatts should be added every year,” Ellis Kofi, Director of Business Development & Planning noted.

Source: Daily Guide

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