Adnan Adams Mohammed
Business operators and residential consumers are demanding from the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to publish a load-shedding timetable as the erratic power supply situation continues to worsen in recent times.
This follows after many Ghanaians expressed dissatisfaction with the ECG and the Energy Ministry for such a situation, which is a disturbing development and affecting businesses
Key players in the industry, including the IES, have raised concerns over the situation, attributing it to financial challenges. But, the energy ministry has pleaded with Ghanaians to be a little patient as it works to resolve the challenge.
“What has happened over the past few days is that some obligation owed by GNPC to WAPCo was an issue”, Deputy Energy Minister, Andrew Egyapa Mercer, has noted. “WAPCo threatened GNPC and it has made some initial payments, but it wasn’t satisfactory. We requested the Ministry of Finance to top up. We had to go through some approval processes.”
“As of yesterday [last week Wednesday] evening, the Ministry of Finance had approved a sum of US$10 million to pay for a part of that debt. So that was the hiccup that we encountered that led to the power outages we experienced in the past few days. But that has been resolved.”
However, the Deputy Minority Leader, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah has indicated that Ghana is currently grappling with “a severe case of load shedding, commonly known as ‘dumsor’”.
The situation, the former energy minister noted, “is evidently clear, with 500 MW of load being shed as of tonight, January 9, 2024”.
The Ellembelle MP observed that “Numerous areas have been plunged into darkness due to the unavailability of gas to fuel thermal plants within the Tema enclave, which can be attributed to financial constraints”.
Specifically, Mr Buah mentioned that the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) “is currently unable to fulfil its payment obligations to the West African Gas Pipeline, which is responsible for transporting gas from Takoradi to Tema for power generation”.
“You can also track the ultimate problem to the weakest link in the value chain –ECG’s inability to pay off-takers”, he explained.
“Compounding” the situation, Mr Buah added, “is the absence of a load-shedding timetable, which hampers households and businesses from planning accordingly”.
To him, the “lack of transparency and communication regarding the power outage schedule only adds to the frustration and inconvenience experienced by the affected population”.
“It is worth highlighting that even during the worst periods of dumsor in the past, the power outage never reached the 500-megawatts threshold currently being shed. Yet, the media associated with the NPP interestingly see this as no ‘dumsor’.”
“Their loud silence on the current situation is deafening”, the lawmaker criticised.
The Ghana Grid Company must, as a matter of urgency, come out with a load-shedding timetable to allow households and businesses to plan better”, he demanded.
Some Ghanaians have been complaining about the power situation on Facebook for the past three days.