November 23, 2017

Ranking member on the Energy and Mines Committee, Adams Mutawakilu has said the current government is making impossible the vision of former President John Mahama of Ghana being a net exporter of electricity.

His comment comes in the wake of Akufo Addo’s government terminating 11 Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), with a justification that it will save the country around $7.2 billion dollars over a 13 year period.

Mr. Boakye Agyarko, the Minster of Energy has said some of the power agreement were knee-jerk reactions to the erratic power situation and explained that the agreement would be providing excess power.

He said review of the agreements revealed that, “the projected capacity additions from the PPAs were far in excess of the required additions inclusive of the 20 percent system reserve margin from 2018 to 2030 and would result in the payment of the capacity charges for undispatched plants”.

With all the power projects signed by Ghana, the total capacity is estimated to be 10,800 megawatts, even though the country needs 5,000 megawatts, he added.

But Mr. AdamsMutawakilu in an interview believes the government could have leveraged facilities such as the West African Power Pool to export excess power from the country in a move that would increase foreign exchange earnings as envisaged by the Former President.

Under the ECOWAS Energy Strategy, the first phase of the West Africa Power Pool APL3, aims to curb imbalances between domestic energy resources and the needs of member states with specific emphasis on Burkina Faso.

He suggested to that the Akufo-Addo government is not being ambitious enough when it comes to power.

“They have narrowed it to the national demand, per the minster’s [Boakye Agyarko] response. He never included government’s vision to make Ghana an energy exporter or a power exporter, and I think that we need to look at it broadly than just limiting it to Ghana’s needs.”

“Currently, we consume at peak 2225 MW, but currently we have 4500 MW… if we don’t take time, the vision President Mahama had for this country of being a net exporter of power might not be achieved,” Mr. Mutawakilu added.

As part of efforts to integrate national power systems in West Africa, Ghana in 2012 procured a $25.9 million loan facility from the International Development Association (IDA), under the West Africa Power Pool APL3.

The facility is to enable the construction of a 225-kilovolt-transmission line interconnection, and associated sub-station in Ghana and Burkina Faso, as part of the first phase of the World Bank backed Inter-Zonal Transmission Hub Project of the APL3 programme.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/