Gov’t explains cause of recent power outages
The Ministry of Power has stated that the recent power outages are as a result of temporary difficulties.
A release on Thursday said the difficulties have been occasioned by the delay in the supply of light crude from Nigeria, non-availability of gas through the West African Gas Pipeline and the low water levels of the Akosombo Dam.
The release expressed appreciation to Ghanaians for their “patience” and “understanding” in this difficult time. President John Dramani Mahama had on Wednesday sounded apologetic over the situation, saying it is not loadshedding as some fear it is.
He had also clarified that the recent announcement by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) is not a subsidy but a realignment of its billing system in a new reckoner.
The release issued by Deputy Minister of Power John Jinapor said the reckoner is being deployed to every regional and district office of ECG and Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCO) for customers’ easy reading.
Below is the release: STATEMENT ON POWER INTERRUPTIONS AND TARIFF CHANGES
Following recent interruptions in electricity supply in various parts of the country and changes in the tariff regime, the Ministry of Power wishes to clarify as follows:
The interruptions in electricity supply are due to temporary difficulties occasioned by: Delay in the supply of light crude as a result of force majeure caused by unprecedented vandalism of major pipelines and five terminals in Nigeria.
The contracted supplier has, however, assured that it is pursuing all necessary measures to deliver crude in the shortest possible time. Non-availability of gas from the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP).
This has led to a switch from gas to light crude as fuel to fire a number of thermal plants, which has resulted in a stretch of the consumption rate to conserve the limited stock.
The Akosombo Dam is at a record low. This has limited the amount of electricity generated from the plant. The Ministry expects the situation to return to normal very shortly owing to contingency measures adopted to procure adequate quantities of fuel to generate enough power.
Additionally, efforts are underway by BOST to secure strategic reserves of fuel to mitigate any future emergencies. Tariff re-alignment The Ministry has also noted varying commentary on the rationalization of lifeline tariffs and wishes to state that it has become necessary to carry out this re-alignment to ensure equity and fairness in the benefits of the lifeline tariff.
Following extensive consultation amongst the power sector stakeholders, the electricity billing system has been realigned and all anomalies corrected. Consequently, customers of ECG and NEDCO are expected to enjoy some relief in the amount paid for electricity consumption.
A new ‘reckoner’ which brings clarity and better understanding of the billing system is being published by the utility companies. The reckoner shall be deployed to all district and regional offices of ECG/NEDCO as well as Customer Service Centres, to assist consumers accordingly. We take this opportunity to express appreciation to consumers for their patience and understanding.