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04.10.2005 General News

Rationalize Ghana's Energy Capacity - J.H. Mensah

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Accra, Oct. 4, GNA - The Senior Minister, Mr Joseph Henry Mensah on Tuesday called for the rationalization of Ghana's energy capacity base if the nation was to meet the required energy needs for development. Addressing a workshop of energy experts in Accra, he argued that a lot of industries had consistently had problems with the quality of electricity supplied and continued to do so due to the difficulty that generators and suppliers of electric power encountered with generation. The Ministry of Energy organized the workshop under the theme: "Ghana Energy Sector Policy Papers - Electricity Sector." It is to dilate on current energy demand practices, financial discipline, and prioritisation of investment in transmission and distribution and expansion procedures.

Mr Mensah asked the experts to develop comprehensive strategies in order to have the full benefit of electric power saying without adequate power supply it was impossible to move Ghana into the higher stages of growth it was craving for.

He urged the officials to ensure that their deliberations had power planning integrated into national development aspirations. Mr Mensah said the Government had since 2001 contended with numerous power situations, notably the rationing of electric supply due to low hydro capacity.

"But we are committed to changing the situation by not only keeping industries in business but keeping the other half of the country with power even with industries such as VALCO on board."

Mr Mensah said the Government had secured funding from the Chinese Government for feasibility studies on the Bui Dam.

Professor Mike Ocquaye, Energy Minister, said a number of development projects such as upgrading the ECG distribution system, the TICO combined cycle project and the Osagyefo Barge were in line to meet Ghana's energy needs.

He mentioned the West African Gas Pipeline Project, which seeks to carry gas from Nigeria through Benin, Togo to Ghana to promote regional trade in electricity.

Prof Ocquaye said the Power Sector Reform Secretariat was working to improve efficiency in the delivery of electricity services nationally and position Ghana to adequately participate in the regional power market.

The reforms include the unbundling of the operations of Volta River Authority and restructuring of the Electricity Company of Ghana.

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