‘Calls for a comprehensive plan for power’

The Chief Executive Officer of African Energy Consortium Ltd, Kwame Jantuah, has decried the lack of long term plan to boost power supply in the country, arguing that it is the cause of the erratic power supply in the country.

Speaking in an interwiew with an accra based news agency, Mr. Jantuah argued that the present power situation could have been avoided if successive governments had devised comprehensive plans to boost power generation in the country.

“The issue is about planning. We do not have a long term plan for energy. If there was a long term plan in place, we will get sustainable power no matter which government is in place. Ghana has a huge deposit of gas.

So governments must engage the private sector to build another facility like Atuabo so that within a certain duration of time, we will be exporting electricity, so that the money we get can be reinvested into the economy. And this is where successive governments have failed us,” he said.

Mr. Jantuah further stated that even though such a plan can take a long time to achieve, some governments in certain advanced countries have been able to commit resources to such projects and are currently benefitting from it, hence, Ghana must emulate their example.

“Dumsor started from 1992. Do you think that if all governments that have come since 1992 had put a plan in place by now, we wouldn’t have an adequate supply of power? We have taken things for granted. Korea, for instance, has a 20-year development plan for power alone and African governments must learn from this.

We know this cannot happen within one-year period. It needs careful planning. Even if it will take us 20 years to be able to do this, we have to do it so that it can move the country forward. Because with adequate power, we can build more industries and improve manufacturing in the country,” Mr. Jantuah stated.

Electricity demand for the country is currently estimated to stand at about 2,225MW; with a 10 percent annual growth rate, demand is expected to hit 7,000MW by 2030.

The current energy crisis the country is going through has been largely blamed on a US$180 million debt accrued from unpaid gas bills.

However, Energy Minister Armah-Kofi Buah, has said that government has agreed terms with the gas suppliers on a master payment plan which will ensure that supply of gas is restored as soon as possible.

“We had an issue of debt with WAPCO. We have met and agreed a payment plan with the committee of ministers and a payment has been made. The initial payment was US$50million. We have a plan and we have already paid US$30million and we will continue to make more payments. The issue is not payment. There is no issue with WAPCO, they were with us in the meeting in Abuja,” he said.