The Africa Center for Energy Policy is warning of a return to the crippling power crisis in 2017 but the Deputy Power Minister John Jinapor has allayed any such fears.
The Energy think tank hinges its worrying projection on the unsustainable fuel supply.
In a report released by ACEP titled “beyond 2016 elections, energy sector priorities” warned that fuel supply, particularly gas, will be difficult to find from April 2017.
With water supply in the Akosombo dam said to be at an eternally low levels hydro-power will also not be an option.
“Fuel supply has become more challenging as thermal generation will continue to dominate the sector,” the ACEP report said.
But the deputy Power Minister John Jinapor has played down the report.
He said on the contrary, government has made enough provision to solve any future power challenges.
The country was hit by a four year power crisis which saw major parts of the country in darkness for 24 hours with only 12 hours of electricity supply.
After series of broken promises by the Mahama led government, the crisis abated late this year with the increase in generation capacity through the procurement of the KARPOWER, Ameri plants etc.
John Jinapor believes the current stability in power will continue despite the worrying prediction by ACEP.
“On the contrary we should rather prepare for improvement in power supply because as i speak to you adequate measures have been put in place to bolster the amount of power we supply into the system.
“…The KARPOWER plant which is a 450 megawatts badge is expected in the country in a couple of days or weeks.
“More importantly we have seen an appreciable increase in the level of the hydro dam.
“In my estimation we should not have load shedding in the coming months and next year. We should not,” he insisted.
On the issue of fuel supply, he denied assertion the country was not receiving gas from the West Africa Gas Pipeline.
Asked what amount of gas is being provided, he said the amount “fluctuates” and will not give the exact amount.
“In the event that we don’t even have gas, from the FPSO most of the plants can run on light crude,” he said, adding there is a month or two supply of light crude for use.
On the issue of debt, the Deputy Minister said through the energy sector levy, the country has been able to pay a hefty amount of debt owed to WAPCo and Ngas.
He said close to $100 million had been paid to the companies and much more will be paid as the country consumes more gas.
Debt to Ivory Coast
The Deputy Power Minister also confirmed that the country is still indebted to its neighbour Ivory Coast for power bought.
“We owe them some amount. We have paid some. As you keep consuming, you owe. Even as I speak to you, we do pick some power from Cote d’Ivoire,” he stated.
He said the power from Ghana’s neighbour is cheaper compared to the thermal generation.
Will dumsor strike in Christmas?
The Deputy Power Minister does not envisage any power crisis ahead of the Christmas celebration.
He said there may be some localised outages which will not be attributed to lack of generational capacity but out of a technical challenge which would be resolved in no time.