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26.04.2007 General News

VRA dismisses power cut report

By myjoyonline

The Volta River Authority has disclosed that Ivory Coast suspended power supply to Ghana in August last year and not recently as is being suggested in sections of the media.

The Chief Executive of VRA, Mr Joshua Ofedei said it is therefore inaccurate to suggest that temporary suspension of supply from Ivory Coast will further worsen the country's energy crisis.
However, a confidential memo cited by Joy News from the Energy Minister to his counterpart at the Information ministry explains that Ivory Coast has itself started a power rationing exercise making it impossible to supply dependants like Ghana.

The memo dated April 19 said neighboring West African countries Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso and Mali have also been affected.

But Mr Ofedei said the memo refers only to the recent request for 100 megawatts of power from Ivory Coast.

He told Joy News that the VRA had long factored the lack of supply from Ivory Coast into the country's power supply situation.

“Around August last year they (Cote D'Ivoire) had a problem with the gas supply system and that is what precipitated this load shedding programme. We thought it was going to be temporary but it has continued…it is not a new situation and we have taken into account all this into our planning,” he said.

He said currently Cote d'Ivoire does not supply power to Ghana until July when it is hoped that the situation would be addressed.

Though Ghana is facing serious energy problems, he said, it is still supplying about 25 megawatts of power to Togo and Benin.

“We give Togo and Benin a maximum of about 25 megawatts of energy…because we have got a long term contractual relationship with them,” he stated.

Mr Ofedei said the VRA hopes the situation gets better as the rainy season approaches.