Energy Crises Resurfaces – Domestic Users To Suffer More
9/4/2012 1:21:24 PM -
The shutdown of the West Africa Gas Pipeline Company (WAGPCo) following the detection of a leakage in its Lome conduit recently has resulted in the loss of some 300 megawatts power to the Volta River Authority (VRA).
This has called for an immediate load-shedding exercise by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) but domestic consumers are expected to suffer the most, as management of ECG has noted that it will have minimal effect on industry.
The anchor of a ship damaged the gas pipeline at Lome which caused the low pressure in the line and ultimately led to the leakage.
The Asogli Power Plant, which produces 200 megawatts of power using gas, has had to shut down since it cannot source for the commodity from WAGPCo as of now.
Also, VRA's switch from thermal generation to light crude oil (LCO) has rendered some of its equipment faulty leading to the loss of 100 megawatts of power.
'Were the Takoradi Thermal Plant operational by now, the country would have been spared this ordeal since it would be producing 100 megawatts of power,' Maxwell Odoom, Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Services at VRA disclosed to CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE .
This means that there is bound to be intensive gas shortage in the country if the situation should continue to exist.
But the Deputy Chief Executive, speaking at a press conference yesterday in Accra, noted that the situation could take about a month or more to normalize.
Some pundits have also indicated the situation could continue till the end of this year.
Explaining the situation further, Mr Odoom said: 'VRA is unable to use gas in the generation of electricity. Some of our plants use both LCO and BSO. Now we have started using crude oil and this will continue for a while.'
According to him, VRA will have to expend between $40 million and $45 million to cope with the situation even though it will have to use LCO from its reserves. In the case of the ECG and GRIDCo, they could not immediately quantify how much they would lose as a result of the crises.
A vessel from Gabon is enroute to Lome to inspect the extent of damage to the pipeline and it is expected to get there in 24 hours' time.
'We won't be able to tell how long it could take to fix the problem but we have adequate LCO supply to take us for the next one month,' Mr Odoom emphasized.
Present at the conference were Charles Darko, CEO of GRIDCo and William Hutton-Mensah, acting MD of ECG.
By Samuel Boadi