We're about to return to rotating power cuts here in Ghana.
Generally the power goes off from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. every five days. It's not really a big deal, if one is armed with a Petzl headlamp for reading. But without power there is no fan and without a fan there is no sleeping. And that's what makes the lack of power such a drag...
This story appeared Wednesday March 14th on GhanaWeb:
Load-Shedding is back
Until Ghanaians begin to think energy and reduce the unchecked wastage in the system, additional installations of generating power plants would make little impact, Abla Fiadjoe, Acting Director of Corporate Affairs of the Volta River Authority, said on Tuesday.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency on Tuesday on the load shedding programme, which resumes on Thursday March 15, 2007, Ms Fiadjoe said about one-third of power produced in the country went to waste and noted that even in the midst of recent crisis the attitude remained the same.
The VRA and Electricity Company of Ghana have announced the resumption of the five-day cycle in the load management programme up to March 31 this month after which the situation would be reviewed. The water level quoted by the VRA for March 12 stood at 238.48 feet, which is below the minimum level of 240.0 feet.
Ms Fiadjoe said government and other independent power producers could come in with generating sets to increase the energy production, but that must have a corresponding attitudinal change on the part of consumers, especially industries.
"Energy demand is growing every now and then between seven to 10 percent (per annum), which requires increase investments in the sector," she said. Ms Fiadjoe said the current low water level tells the whole story but she expressed the hope that the inflows would start coming in somewhere from May this year to turn the tide.
She said this year besides government's purchase of generating sets to bring in about 110 megawatts of power to ease the problem, the VRA would also install 126 megawatts in September this year. President John Agyekum Kufuor, delivering his State of the Nation address to Parliament in Accra last month, said Ghana would receive power from the West Africa Power Pool whereby it would benefit from 200 megawatts of power from Nigeria and Cote d"Ivoire.
He said the Volta River Authority was poised to establish a 300-megawatt plant at Tema, while it was also building another emergency plant to supply 126 megawatts of power by August this year. President Kufuor said the Osagyefo Power Barge, which had been standing idle, would be empowered to produce 120 megawatts.
A private Ghanaian-Chinese joint venture company was also in the offing to produce, in two phases, up to 600 megawatts, while the government had contracted three American companies to produce up to 110 megawatts by the end of April.
The President also referred to a plan by a consortium of mining companies, which had offered to build a plant at Tema to be completed by June to supply 80 megawatts of power while there were plans to build the Bui hydroelectric dam designed to generate 400 megawatts of electricity.