The Minister for Power, Dr Kwabena Donkor, was dragged before the Government Assurances Committee of Parliament yesterday to reassure Ghanaians that dumsor (load shedding) would be a thing of the past by the end of this year as he had promised Ghanaians.
However, the minister dropped a hint that the power rationing might not end by the end of the year.
The minister said although government is working to meet the December 31, 2015 deadline, more time might be needed to deal completely with the issue.
When Dr Donkor was asked whether he still stood by his promise, he answered ‘Yes’, but said that the caveat was that Ghanaians could have dumsor two weeks into January before the problem could be completely resolved.
According to the power minister, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) is responsible for 46% of dumsor in the country with off peak load shedding amounting to 300 megawatts while the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCO) is responsible for the rest, with industries also taking their fair share of the load shedding.
He said electricity from the Akosombo Dam, which is currently generating 481.3 megawatts of power from the expected maximum 1,020 megawatts, could only provide 35% of the electricity needs of the country.
He said thermal power is responsible for 64% of electricity generation and that the dumsor had been occasioned by frequent tripping at the Aboadze Plant.
He also explained that thieves had been vandalising ECG transformers and stealing coppers in them which also results in avoidable power rationing.
He said the problem was being solved while the TICO Plant at Takoradi had been completely activated, which would add more than 100 megawatts of power to the system.
According to him, the Asogli and Kpong-Tema Plants would also soon come on stream to help solve the problem while the Karpower would also augment generation.
On the Ameri power generator, he said it is the cheapest in terms of thermal power and that Ghana would pay 11.49 cent over the 20-year period that the generators would be used.
“Mr Chairman, technically we are on course in resolving the dumsor problem very soon,” he assured.