GHANA CANNOT do away with thermal power because it provides 40 per cent of the country’s electricity needs, Mr. Sam Kwesi Fletcher, Public Relations Officer of the Volta River Authority (VRA), has said.
He was speaking at a public hearing organised by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) for the Western and Central Regions on the theme “Ensuring Quality of Service Delivery in the Electricity and Water Sectors” at Takoradi.
Mr. Fletcher said hydroelectricity provided the bulk of the country’s energy requirements.
He said independent power sources such as the CENIT Plant and the Surion Asogli Plant made up the rest of the requirement.
Mr. Fletcher said the cost of producing thermal electricity daily with crude oil was about $3 million.
He said the VRA had to acquire 400,000 barrels of crude oil at a cost of $60 million every 20 days for thermal power generation.
Mr. Fletcher said the current electricity tariffs were based on the price of gas which was half the price of crude oil.
He said the cost of production had doubled because of unavailability of gas from the West Africa Gas Pipeline Company.
Mr. Fletcher said the VRA was producing electricity at a loss of 100 per cent because the consumer was paying half of what he should be paying.
He said it was expected that when gas from Nigeria became available in April or May this year, Surion Asogil Plant will resume operations and make available 20 Mega Watts of power to the grid.
Mr. Fletcher said a unit from the Bui Dam was also expected to start running in April this year to make available 133 MW to the grid.
Mr. Fletcher said once Takoradi Thermal Plant 3 (T3) was fully commissioned, there would be no need for systematic load shedding unless there was unplanned outage or sustained maintenance.
He said total available capacity now was 1,550 MW, adding that peak demand now was 1,745 MW leading to a deficit of 195 MW.
Mr. Albert Quainoo, Head of the Public Relations Department of GRIDCo spoke on what the company was doing to improve power supply in the Western and Central Regions.
He said a new satellite warehouse had been constructed near the company’s Takoradi sub-station, and that a new bay had been commissioned at the Takoradi sub-station.