Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister for Energy

Minister for Energy Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh has announced that the Akufo-Addo administration has saved the nation about $2.761 billion through tariff rationalization since 2019.

“We have made savings on deferment of 3 PPAs amounting to $1.426 billion since 2019, amounting to $475.50 million per deferred PPA. The total saving was sufficient to build 62 stadia the size of Tamale Stadium”, he stated.

Dr Opoku Prempeh added that this is in addition to other savings in the sector amounting to a total of $1.335bn, bringing the total savings to $2.761 billion in the energy sector.

The minister announced this at a media briefing yesterday on the energy sector and the steps being taken by government to provide efficient power supply to the people.

He also appealed to Ghanaians to bear with government as all efforts are being made to fix power transmission challenges in the country.

The media briefing, which was on the topic: ‘Delivery Reliable and Affordable Power’, was part of a series of presentations by government Ministers organized by the Ministry of Information.

Dr Prempeh disclosed that since 2017, the Akufo-Addo government has always made funds available to generation companies to procure fuel to power the thermal plants, which he pointed out, has restored power generation to meet demand.

Government, he reiterated, is committed to ensuring a long-term financial sustainability in Ghana’s power sector.

Dr Prempeh referred to the Project Light, which is aimed at renegotiating Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) entered into under the previous government during the power crisis.

This, according to him, will ensure that Ghana obtains value for money on all agreements as well as the renegotiation of Gas prices from the Sankofa Fields.

Deferment

Dr Prempeh indicated that with respect to the over 46 PPAs signed by the previous government with Independent Power Producers (IPPs), government managed to get some of them deferred.

He said the savings that have been made on the deferment of agreements of Early Power, Jacobsen Power Ltd and Rotan, are significant and sets the tone for a more sustainable energy sector financial management framework.

Dr Prempeh said the Energy Sector Levy Act (ESLA), Cash water fall Mechanism, Gas Clearing House, and the Delta Fund, among other interventions have improved Ghana’s Energy sector financing.

Government, he added, has approved the Energy Sector Recovery Programme (ESRP), which is being implemented to bring about long-term financial sustainability of the sector. “We are fully committed to release funds as has been done since 2017 to improve liquidity of the value chain.

“These measures are part of the Akufo Addo led government’s broader strategy to ensure long term financial sustainability in Ghana’s power sector”, he added.

Fixing transmission challenges

Energy Minister Dr. Prempeh indicated that the current intermittent power outages will soon be over as the phenomenon is to enable the necessary works to be carried out on the transmission systems.

“We are on track to fixing our power transmission issues for the short to medium term. This will bring an end to the current transmission induced outages. These technical issues on our transmission lines are being addressed and in the coming days our lights will return to its stable days”, he noted.

Dr Prempeh stressed that mechanisms have been put in place technically and financially to ensure that Ghana does not return to the ‘dark days’ of ‘dumsor’ where businesses and livelihoods were sadly truncated.

According to him, the transmission architecture is obsolete and therefore fixing it once and for all is a recipe for Ghanaians to see the end of the tunnel.

Transparency & accountability  

Dr Prempeh who represents the people of Manhyia South in Parliament, said transparency and accountability in the power sector is a priority for him and will at all times remain truthful and faithful to these principles.

In his view, these are ways by which the NPP government under President Akufo-Addo would secure the support of the people.

Dr Prempeh said his briefs on the current projects to salvage the challenges points to steady progress and with the increased power demand, these projects will stand the test of time.

These include the Pokuase Bulk Supply Point (BSP), which is 95% complete and expected to be done at the end of July 2021. 

Furthermore, the Kasoa BSP is 60% complete and is expected to be completed by end of August 2021.

Again, the Tema to Achimota line rehabilitation is ongoing, whilst the gap in the transmission backbone between Kumasi and Kintampo is to be fixed to complete the transmission system between the coastal part of the country and Bolgatanga.

“We are working to upgrade the infrastructure to ensure that the systems are able to accommodate the load being transmitted.”

GRIDCo transmission development plan

On GRIDCo’s transmission development plan, he said the total transmission network capex is valued at $533 million, which is made up of three priority categories.

“It is our expectation that by the close of the year, all the projects aimed at resolving the challenges would have been completed”, he added.

Energy conservation

On energy conservation, the Minister said it is key in reducing the pressure on the load. In this regard, he mentions the distribution of 12 million LED bulbs across the country. The energy savings per annum according to the minister stands at 91.8Mwh with total savings per annum at GHC64.5 million.

Dr Prempeh re-stated his empathy to affected Ghanaians and expressed appreciation for their patience.

He further craved the understanding and co-operation of all as we go through this phased easing of the power challenges.

SOURCEBy thecustodianghonline.com/Kyei Boateng
Previous articleAda Chiefs, Elders Impressed With Electrochem’s Songor Salt Project
Next articleLet’s reduce carnage on our roads- Dr China