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19.12.2005 General News

Ghana renews resolve for efficient power generation

By GNA
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Accra, Dec. 19, GNA - Ghana has renewed her resolve to make the generation and distribution of electric power more efficient to make the country's commitment to cheaper, efficient and reliable source of energy, a reality.

In this direction, government is pushing for the full realization of the power sector reforms that will ultimately make the Volta River Authority (VRA) the main generating body in the country and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), the main distributing agency. Professor Mike Ocquaye, Minister of Energy, said this when Ms Pamela Bridgewater, the new US Ambassador in Ghana, called on him to formally introduce herself and have briefings on Ghana's energy sector, its prospects, the power sector reforms and the West African Gas Pipeline, due to come on stream by December next year. Prof. Ocquaye indicated that there would be a "wholesaler" body operating between the VRA and the ECG.

He said it was imperative that the nation went beyond the source of power generation by VRA to providing gas and extending it to industrial, commercial and ultimately local consumers.

The Minister said government intended to improve the current ways of generating and distributing power by ensuring that issues of equipment, such as transformers and other power generating and distributing factors, were in place.

He explained that Ghana was keen on developing both renewable and mini-hydro sources of energy to make the lives of the people more comfortable and up to the standard that is acceptable to all.

"We are keen on providing mini-hydro sources across the country to boost electric power that would provide power in the rural and remote places so that schools for instance can make use of computers," Prof. Ocquaye said.

The discussions also centred on the deregulation, which, Prof. Ocquaye said, had been carried out successfully, resulting in the establishment of the National Petroleum Tender Board. The presence of the Board, he noted, had led to the avoidance of subsidies that had over the years hurt government coffers.

Ms Bridgewater pledged the full support of the US government to the power sector reform and the WAGP project, saying the US would work to ensure that efforts towards an efficient power base for development was carried out to its logical conclusion.

She said the US had immense technical experience that could be put at the disposal of government and institutions to make their work profitable and useful.

On the WAGP project, for example, Ms Bridgewater said the role of the USAID would be sustained.

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