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The Deputy Minister for Energy and Petroleum, Mr John Jinapor, has told parliament that the Ministry is working closely with the thermal power generators to ensure that plants return into service as soon as possible to reduce the deficit in power generation.
According to him, government had put in place substantial measures to address the current power outages across the country but would not give time-lines because it was not feasible to do so immediately.
Mr. Jinapor said this on the floor of Parliament yesterday in response to a question posed by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Afigya Kwabre South in the Ashanti Region, William Owuraku Aidoo, who wanted to know from the Ministry what was accounting for the current power outages in the country and when exactly it would end.
He informed members that key challenges accounting for the current power outages were inadequate generation arising from erratic gas supply from the West Africa Gas Pipeline Project, shut down of planned and unplanned maintenance as well as low water inflow into Bui and Akosombo reservoirs.
“It is expected that following the completion of the TICO Expansion Project (110 MW) by the end of the year and the Kpone Thermal Power project (220) by the first quarter of 2015, the deficit in power generation will be reduced to the minimum or eliminated,” he said.
To avoid the recurrence of the of the current situation, the Ministry, he noted, was in the process of bringing into the country a 450MW capacity Powership to be operational by the end of second quarter of 2015, adding that other independent power projects would start soon.
Touching on steps to address the issue of irregular supply of gas from the West Africa Gas Pipeline, he said gas had started flowing to Aboadze on commissioning basis.
“We are also in talks with Nigeria for more gas. Other gas discoveries such as TEN and Sankofa and also Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) are being pursued,” he added.
In a response to supplementary question, by the Minority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, on when exactly the power outages would end, Mr Jinapor said since the provision of gas from Atuabo Gas project was now operational, the energy would reduce to a barest minimum but pointed out that the challenges of the energy sector could not be solved overnight.
Source: ISD (Gilbert Ankrah & Richie Osie Asiedu)