In West Africa, Ghana’s power ministry has released a statement explaining the reasons behind the recent power outages that have been experienced nationwide.
Deputy minister of power John Jinapor announced in a statement last week that the difficulties experienced in power supply have been occasioned by a series of situations, which includes a delay in the supply of light crude oil from Nigeria as well as the non-availability of gas through the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) among other reasons.
Light crude oil as an alternative
Jinapor further explained that the unavailability of gas from the WAGP has led to a switch from gas to light crude oil as fuel to fire a number of thermal plants, which had resulted in a stretch of the consumption rate to conserve the limited stock.
“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 the Bulk Oil Storage and Transport Company Limited to secure strategic reserves of fuel to mitigate any future emergencies,” the statement assured.
In clarifying the re-alignment of tariffs, the statement confirmed: “…the ministry had also noted varying commentary on the rationalisation of life-line 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 life-line tariff.
“Following extensive consultation amongst the power sector stakeholders, the electricity billing system has been realigned and all anomalies corrected.”
The statement added: “Consequently, customers of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCO) are expected to enjoy some relief in the amount paid for electricity consumption.”
In conclusion, the release stated that a new ‘reckoner’, which will bring clarity and better understanding of the billing system was being published by the utility companies. The ministry added that the ‘reckoner’ will be deployed to all district and regional offices of ECG/NEDCO, as well as customer service centres, to assist consumers accordingly.