The Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCO) is expected to announce a new nationwide load shedding exercise on Tuesday, September 4, 2012 due to a shortfall of 300 megawatt of power supply on the national grid.
The shortfall had occurred due to planned shutdown of a power plant in Takoradi for routine maintenance and a technical problem that had affected gas supply for the West Africa Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCO) to the Volta River Authority (VRA) and the Sunon Asogli plant.
The Takoradi power plant, before the shutdown, supplied 110 megawatts of power to the national grid while the gas-fired Asogli plant, generated 200 megawatts of power.
Briefing journalists at a conference in Accra on Monday, Mr William Hutton-Mensah, Acting Managing Director of the Electricity Company of Ghana, gave the assurance that industries would be given top priority concession during the load shedding exercise, adding that there would be minimum effect on their operations.
He, however, advised the public, especially residents in Accra that would experience power failure every other day during the peak periods, to use energy-efficient appliances to conserve energy.
Mr Maxwell Odoom, Deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of Resources for the VRA said, WAPCO shut down its pipelines following loss of pressure around the Lome segments in Togo due to a damage caused to the pipeline by ship’s anchor. He added that WAPCO had given the assurance that a team of engineers on a vessel from Gabon were expected to reach the faulty pipeline section and to start repair works by tomorrow September 4, 2012.
Mr Odoom who could not state exactly how long it would take to repair and restore gas supply, added that it was the expectation that the unpleasant situation “would not last forever”. He said in the absence of gas-fired power plants, machines that used Light Crude Oil (OLC) would be switched into use.
Mr Odoom added that there was enough OLC supply to run the available power plants. The cost of running the crude oil-powered plants is estimated at 45 million dollars for a month.
Mr Kofi Ellis, Director for Planning and Business Development at VRA, however expressed optimism that the power plant at Takoradi was expected to become functional by tomorrow September 4, 2012 to ease the shortfall from the current 300 megawatts to 200 megawatts.