Thursday, March 15, 2007

from the "more current events" dept.

From JoyFM Online:

The nationwide load shedding exercise that was suspended during the jubilee celebrations resumes today.

Meanwhile, the Volta River Authority (VRA) is exploring ways to reduce the country’s dependency on the Akosombo hydro-electric dam in the short term.

The move has become necessary because of the declining water level in the Akosombo dam with potentially dire consequences. The current water level is 238 feet and there are fears that it could drop further to the extreme 235 feet before the rains start.

Measures being considered by the VRA include a reduction in the amount of power supplied to all consumers, including major industries and domestic users.

One of the major consumers of power, VALCO, has also cut back on its energy use by some 35 megawatts within the past week having initially reduced consumption at the beginning of the energy crisis.

The VRA’s Public Relations Officer, Mr John Tsoba, told newsmen that average lake levels has been declining since the dam was constructed in 1965 but this year’s level is threatening. He said the level of the dam has never been that slow since the draught of 1983.

“Infact if I do not tell you that nobody is worried here then I am lying. Everybody is worried,” he lamented.

To take the pressure off the dam and avoid totally running down the lake, the VRA is drawing electricity from Kpong and running the thermal plant at Aboadze at full tilt.

But it comes at a cost. The VRA is spending more than 30 million dollars a month on fuel import. It forms part of the VRA’s plan to move from total dependence on hydro-power to other alternatives.

Although crude oil and natural gas are more expensive for the thermal plant, the VRA hopes that is the main alternative because they are always available.


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