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17.10.2008 Business & Finance

Ghana needs 4,000 megawatts of energy to get into middle income status

By gna

Energy Minister Felix Kwasi Owusu-Adjapong, says Ghana needs to increase its power generation capacity beyond 4,000 mega watts within the next four years in order to attain a middle income status.

He said at the same time, the country needs to strive to achieve an affordable consumer tariff in order to make electricity accessible to majority of citizens and also for industrial production.

Mr Owusu-Adjapong was speaking at the opening of the Sixth Annual Conference and Banquet of the Society of Volta River Authority Engineers at Akuse on Friday.

The two-day conference was organized under the theme: “Power Supply Security for the West African Sub-Region in the face of dwindling energy resources.”

The conference is expected to explore and identify the power supply potential within the sub-region, the various technological options available for power generation, the financing options and the regulatory and institutional framework necessary to ensure uninterrupted supply to power the sub-regional economies into middle income status.

He expressed regret that many communities in the Asuogyaman District do not benefit from the electricity generated in their area despite the sacrifices they made and called on the Volta River Authority (VRA) and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to take steps to ensure that all communities within the District are connected to the national grid within the shortest possible time.

He said the West African Gas Pipeline and the West African Power Pool Projects were examples of regional efforts and explained that regional integration continued to hold great prospects for the collective development of countries in the sub-region.

Mr Owusu-Adjapong warned that in all such endeavours, the sub-region needs to be guided by the issues that resulted in the failure of the CIMAO project in Togo.

He called for efforts to build the local capacity, expertise and skills in the manufacture of energy technology to enhance the energy security of the country.

In his welcoming address, the Chief Executive Officer of VRA, Owura K Sarfo, said in West Africa, apart from the extremely low electricity penetration rates in the region, it was estimated that more than 75 per cent of demand was currently not being met.

He said even where the demand was met; the quality of supply was questionable.

Owura Sarfo said VRA over the past months, had embarked on a journey of reinvention and renewal in order to become a true power utility of excellence in the West Africa sub-region by meeting the total domestic load, export requirement to Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and other countries in the sub-region.