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Government is committed towards addressing the inherent challenges in the country’s power sector, Deputy Minister for Energy, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam has said.
“We are aware that we need to be self-sufficient in generation so we are addressing all the challenges that plague our power sector so that we don’t only generate but are also able to carry what has been generated to the consumer at affordable cost,” he stated.
Dr Adam was worried that Ghana was operating at the margin without any reserves and “if there is any disturbance we are going to have shortfalls.”
According to him, “it doesn’t make sense if you have self sufficiency in generation and yet the transmission network is weak and is not expanded to accommodate the increasing generation.”
Speaking at the just ended maiden National Policy Summit, the Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko said government would employ some strategic policies to guarantee the efficient generation and efficient distribution of power across the country.
“Going forward all power agreements would be procured on competitive basis and we propose that power generators carry their own fuel risks.
Mr Agyarko also proposed that the price at which Ghana buys power be capped so that “ if you can provide us power at 10 cents we buy from you; if not sorry.”
He revealed that government had negotiated with Karpower and had come to an agreement to extend the stay of Karpowership 225 since its term had expired.
“In the meanwhile we are completing arrangements for the bigger vessel Karpower 450 to be brought in” he said.
The Minister further revealed that within 60days the 450 vessel would be brought in and the 225 taken out.
He added that owners of the barge were willing to hold the 225 in reserve at no cost to Ghana within the 60 days if there was need for extra capacity.
The Minister described past agreements in the energy sector as “deal-driven” and not “strategy-driven”.
He argued that most of the agreements with Independent Power Producers had failed to fully address the energy needs of the country.
He indicated that the concentration of power generation in the East; Tema enclave to the neglect of other parts of the country had created what he called a “load imbalance”.
All the major loads in the country in terms of power generation is concentrated in the East; Tema enclave.
There is very little in the Aboadze and there is absolutely nothing in the middle of the country; that in itself creates a load imbalance for GRIDCo ..Because we were driven by the deals we could get, there was no plan to distribute the load around the country. That is my personal view as I have observed it. Even now people prefer to build power plants around the over crowded enclave of Tema.” Proffering suggestions to these challenges, the Minister emphasized the need to make power sector a strategy driven place where business men find their deals so power will be “competitively procured.”
“We will also use standardized procedures and documentation so that all the liquidity and security documentation that comes with power procurement will be standardized. Investor A faces the same standard document as investor B,” the Minister added.
Government had earlier argued that some of the power agreements including Ameri and Karpower, that the Mahama government entered into were bloated. Government in a bid to ensure value for money set up a 17 member committee under the Energy Ministry to review the Ameri power deal which was believed to have been bloated by $150 million.
Source: Isaac Aidoo || The Finder