Government has given $130 million to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to help the power generating firm replace its obsolete equipment, to reduce power losses, and ensure sustainable power generation.
This is to ensure efficient transportation of electricity, add value to power generation and ensure cheaper electricity supply to consumers.
Mr John Peter Amewu, the Minister of Energy, who made this known when he took his turn at the Nation Building Updates in Accra yesterday noted that the stable power supply Ghanaians are currently enjoying was due to Inter-Ministerial and agency collaboration and placing competent people in the right position to deliver quality services as well as the effective leadership provided by President Akufo-Addo.
He hailed the competencies exhibited by the Chief Executive Officers of energy institutions such as the Volta River Authority (VRA), Ghana National Gas Company, Bui Power Authority, Ghana Grid Company, and Energy Commission which has ensured stable electricity supply and low tariffs.
Mr Amewu, has urged Ghanaians to give the ruling administration four more years to ensure that the gains made in the energy sector, particularly in the power sector, would be consolidated.
He Amewu touted government’s superior track record in the management of the power sector, compared to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration’s handling of the power situation.
He said that when the NPP came to power in 2017, Ghana’s electricity supply was struggling.
To resolve this struggle, his outfit began discussions with industry players on how to improve the nation’s energy mix.
He said that in 2016, the total debt owed the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) was GH₵2 billion.
In the same period, the Bulk Oil Storage and Transport Company, 36.3 million, while distributors were owed GH₵627 million.
Mr Amewu indicated that the Mahama’s Administration increased electricity tariffs by 268 per cent between 2010 and 2016 amid the power crises (dumsor), leading to the collapse of many businesses.
To remedy this situation, Mr Amewu said he had had ensured that there was closer collaboration among the various state institutions in the electricity generation value chain.
He said, “The problem of ‘dumsor’ was not about generation, but about bringing all heads in the sector together to solve the problem.”
According to the Energy Minister, there was no collaboration among the concerned ministries and agencies responsible for ensuring that there was sufficient power for the people of Ghana, due to the splitting of the energy and power ministries.
He claimed that by the time the NPP came to power, Ghana had signed too many take-or-pay agreements with the power producers, a situation which led to only 40 per cent of generated power being used currently.
He said that to keep the lights on, government had ensured that there was availability of fuel for power generation.
In the same vein, government had ensured payment of outstanding bills to independent power producers through the regular payment of their outstanding obligations.
He also stated that to rationalise expenditure on generation, his ministry had taken the decision to move the Karpower barge to the Western Region.
To decrease energy consumption, government had procured some 12 million energy saving bulbs for use by the citizens. Also, in its four years, it had managed to reduce electricity tariffs by 5%.
A key achievement of this government, Mr Amewu stressed, has been the passage of the Renewable Energy Bill, which has led to the scaling up of the renewable energy mix of Ghana’s electricity generation.
In 2016, electricity was being produced at 24 cents per kilowatt hour. This has currently been reduced to 8 cents per kilowatt hour. Similarly, gas prices have been reduced through renegotiation.