NPP Replies NDC On Energy
The Minority New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Parliament has described as total falsehood, disingenuous claims by agents of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) that the Kufuor Administration had done nothing to increase the nation's energy generation capacity.
The NPP said it had learnt with utter shock and disbelief, 'the shameful misrepresentation of facts in an attempt to hide the pathetic failure and inexcusable ineptitude of the Atta Mills administration to address the energy needs of the country'.
This, according the main opposition party, had now thrown the nation back into darkness long after the NPP administration of President Kufuor had ended it by September 30, 2007.
According to the minority caucus, Deputy Minister of Energy Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, in a Joy FM interview, on April 2, 2012, claimed that the Kufuor Administration resorted to an ad hoc approach to managing the power situation in the country and did not make any addition to existing generation capacity.
He was also quoted as saying that the NDC government had added on 150 megawatts of power over three years.
However, a lengthy and highly loaded statement issued by the Minority spokesperson for Energy, Joseph Kofi Adda, who is the Member of Parliament for Navrongo Central, described the Deputy Energy Minister's claim as false.
'We wish to bring to the attention of all Ghanaians that these assertions are totally false and constitute a rather lame attempt by the NDC government to 'bury its head in the sand' like the proverbial ostrich and place blame on the NPP at a time when the majority of Ghanaians have grown to accept the fact that the NDC government of Prof. Atta Mills is incapable of initiating creative policies and effectively delivering any programmes successfully to move the nation forward'.
Deputy Minister for Energy, the statement pointed out, 'should be seen by all Ghanaians to be either a totally ignorant man who cannot appreciate the historical facts of the policies and programmes that have existed in the Ministry of Energy since 2007 or a purely mischievous person who cannot get out of the propaganda mode of the NDC campaign tactics and so he is resorting to disgraceful untruths to cover up non-performance.'
According to the statement, Alhaji Fuseini had presented fictitious figures on generating capacity that sharply contradicted those given by President Mills during his fourth State of the Nation Address to Parliament early this year.
The statement noted that whilst President Mills said his government had added 365 megawatts to the country's general capacity, Hon. Alhaji Inusah indicated the NDC administration had added 150 megawatts over the same period.
'It must be stated emphatically, that despite the contradiction, both figures are totally wrong as the fact remains that in either case, the NDC has done nothing on their own to bring about any addition to generation capacity in three years', it stated, adding, 'All the new generation was brought by the NPP government'.
The statement further pointed out that in June 2007, the then Minister for Energy under President Kufuor, Hon. Joseph Kofi Adda, delivered a statement in Parliament on the energy situation during which he outlined a comprehensive programme which covered the short, medium and long-term plans of the Kufuor government to end the energy crisis.
It regretted that 'the incompetent Mills administration' failed to effectively follow President Kufuor's programme that would have added about 1,200 megawatts by the end of 2011 to move the nation forward and prevent the type of load shedding currently being experienced.
This, the statement bemoaned, had led to the nation slipping back into an unacceptable situation of random and erratic power outages, creating serious discomfort and unnecessary inconvenience to households as well as disrupting the smooth operations of business and industry.
'It is important also to remind Ghanaians, that by June 2007, a total of 200 megawatts of generation capacity had already been installed through the Emergency Power as well the Mines Reserve Plants of 126 mw and 80 mw capacities respectively'.
'These plants are still in the country and readily available for use to reduce the sufferings of Ghanaians but Prof. Mills administration has consistently and conveniently refused to add them to the total installed capacity'.
The Mills administration, the statement added, has refused to fuel the plants to provide electricity to stop the load shedding.
'Additionally, we wish to state for the records, that various other plants which were initiated, designed, negotiated and contracted by the Kufuor government to be installed, and were at various stages of implementation, included the 126 megawatts VRA Tema Thermal 1 Plant (using GE Frame 9 machines), the 50 megawatts Tema Thermal 2 Plant (using Siemens turbines), the 220 megawatts Kpone Thermal Plant (using Alstom Turbines) as well as the 126 megawatts Osono Plant (using GE Frame 9 turbines).
The statement indicated that the current construction of the 132 megawatts Plant at Aboadze called Takoradi 1 Plant was initiated in 2007 as a 220 megawatts plant by the Kufuor government.
The project was to be supported by the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) under the last Memorandum of Understanding signed by Hon. Kofi Adda before the end of the energy crisis.
The negotiations for the contract were subsequently concluded under the Kufuor administration as a Simple Cycle 220 megawatts Plant later to be upgraded to a Combined Cycle 330 megawatts plant.
However, for some strange reason, the construction of the 220 megawatts plant was delayed under the Mills administration and the capacity of the plant later reduced to 132 megawatts.
Hon. Inusah Fuseini, the statement stated, was also fully aware of the controversy generated in Parliament when the Mills government later brought this project document to the Parliament with the cost of the plant surprisingly increased by a 'gargantuan'$20,000,000.00 just for moving the site of installation three hundred meters away.
The Deputy Minister, the statement added, should be informed by the Ministry of Energy officials that the much-talked-about 220 megawatts Sunon Asogli Plant which was completed towards the end of the Kufuor administration, was initiated and negotiated to become a 500 megawatts plant on full completion. 'How then can Hon. Inusah claim that the NPP government did not increase power generation in the country?' the statement quizzed.
It further noted that the 220 megawatts Alstom turbines, which were procured through a fast track arrangement and delivered in 2008 with the payment of an initial amount of â‚¬48 million by the Kufuor administration, have since been left covered with tarpaulin in the GRIDCo yard at Tema for the past long years.
It noted that with effective implementation, the plant would have been completed in 2010 and then converted into a Combined Cycle plant by the middle of 2012 to give the nation 330 megawatts of power.
Additionally, the annual savings of US$35 million a year from the Kufuor government's introduction of the CFL bulbs into the country, the statement noted could have been used to pay for the completion of the implementation of the Alstom turbines at Kpone to give the country more power.
The statement said even the introduction of the CFLs amounted to adding the equivalence of about 120 megawatts of power through the savings they are making to energy use.
'We also wish to add that even though the reduction in gas supply from Nigeria may have affected energy generation, it was actually the irresponsibility of the Mills government not to encourage the use of alternative sources of fuel to ensure that Ghana gets electricity that adversely affected our power supply', the statement said.
It said for the most part, the Kufuor administration used crude oil and even diesel at a time when global prices were very high to ensure supply of electricity to Ghanaians.
'Why can't Mills and his government do the same but keep talking about unavailability of gas supply from Nigeria?
The long term energy plans of President Kufuor, the statement pointed out, included the 400 megawatts Bui Dam construction with another 118 megawatts to be added; 500 megawatts Mini Hydros to be developed whose funds were diverted to road projects.
By Awudu Mahama