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18.06.2004 General News

Parliament adopts report on energy protocol

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Accra, June 18, GNA- Parliament on Friday adopted the Report of the Committee on Mines and Energy on the ECOWAS Energy Protocol. The motion for the adoption of the report was moved by Chairman of the Committee on Mines and Energy, Mr. Albert Boadi-Mensah and seconded by Mr. Seidu Adamu NDC Bibiani/Anhwiaso/Bekwai.

Mr. Boadi-Mensah who presented the report said the Protocol seeks the ratification of the House to enable it establish the legal framework, which would help in harnessing the energy resources of the sub-region.

He said the protocol would also promote long term cooperation in the energy sector based on mutual benefit with "a view to achieving increased investment and cross border trade in the sector."

Mr. Boadi-Mensah said 15 ECOWAS heads of State including President John Agyekum Kufuor, at an extra-ordinary meeting held in Abuja on May 28, 2003 signed the protocol.

He said the Committee observed that the West African power pool would reduce the additional cost incurred by "electricity suppliers on stand by reserves due to shortages and power cuts."

"The power pool will also reduce over dependence on imported fuel with its attendance escalating prices thereby reducing the cost of energy for investment," he added.

The Committee Chairman said the power pool would reduce the over head capital needed by individual West African States to provide energy as the burden would be spread among participating countries.

"The Committee finally observed that the power pool would not only improve reliability and service quality in electricity supply, but would also establish the basis for commercial, industrial and economic development of the sub-region", he said.

Mr. Boadi-Mensah said the sub-region has an estimated hydroelectric potential of 23,900 mega watts but only 3,897 mega watts was being utilised.

He said it has been estimated that Nigeria and La Cote d'Ivoire could generate 9,000 mega watts of electricity from their natural gas reserves.

The House also adopted a report on the Treaty of West African Gas Pipeline Project for Benin, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo. 18 June 04

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