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23.03.2007 General News

Businesses face more difficult times

By myjoyonline

Businesses in the country would have to brace themselves for more difficult times ahead with the power rationing exercise set to worsen as the country's energy crisis deepens.

Many businesses have already either shut or cut down drastically on production following the non availability of power in adequate supplies.

VALCO; a major consumer of power has already shut and sent home some 400 workers.

Currently power is rationed for 12 hours after five days of supply but sources at the Volta River Authority say the blackout period could extend to 24 hours and power supply reduced to between 3-4 days due to the dwindling water levels in the Akosombo Dam.

The VRA and the Electricity Company of Ghana were expected to review the energy situation by the end of March, however worsening water levels in the Volta Lake has forced an early review.

Authorities are expected to announce new schedules soon following what the VRA and ECG say is a critical situation.

200 megawatts of power expected from Nigeria and the Ivory Coast are yet to come on stream while the surplus power made available by the shutdown of VALCO is said not to be helping either.

Emergency power plants imported to augment supply have also not been operational despite assurances from government.

The power rationing exercise started in August last year due to the dwindling water levels in the Akosombo Dam. It was temporarily suspended on the first of March to allow regular power supply for the Golden Jubilee festivities.

Although the country's thermal generators are operating at full blast, sources say the energy supply falls far short of the requirements.

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