March 5, 2015
In West Africa, Ghana has held its own as a nation that enjoys significant levels of uninterrupted power supply, a feat that differentiates it from the rest of the region characterized with huge power infrastructure gaps and consequent sketchy power supply, a situation that usually drives up the costs of doing business. In recent times however, that reputation has seemingly vanished as its citizens now suffer a similar fate of epileptic power. In a bid to return the Ghana to its glory days, President John Mahama has stated that an additional 3,665 megawatts (MW) of power would be injected into the Ghananian national grid over the next five years.
This disclosure was made on the floor of the Parliament when the President presented his most recent State of the Nation’s address, a constitutional requirement that enables the President to inform the nation about the present conditions of all sectors of the country. According to him, this addition will supplement the existing generating capacity and help address the needs of households in the country.
“Following power purchase agreements entered into with several Independent Power Producers (IPPs), and plants that the Volta River Authority (VRA) is currently working on, an additional 3,665 MW of power starting from this year and over the next 5 years is expected to be injected into the power transmission grid.”
The additional power will be sourced as follows: 360MW will come from the SunonAsogli (Phase II) plant, 750MW from SunonAsogli (Coal fired), and 350MW from Cen Power, while 360MW from Jacobsen. Also, the Amandi installation will provide some 240MW to which GE will add 1000MW; finally, 185MW will come from VRA (T4) and 220MW from VRA (KTPP).
A vow to return power to the people
“The effect of this power crisis has affected all Ghanaians. We have been here before in 1998, 2007 and I do not intend to manage it. I intend to fix it. I, John Mahama, will fix this challenge,” he asserted.
The President informed the audience that he had authorized the Ministry of Power to acquire and feed 1,000MW of emergency power into the system as an immediate measure to resolve the current crisis, adding that “guarantees are currently being agreed for 450MW from Karpower ship (Turkey), 250MW from APR (UAE) and 300MW GE.
He further revealed that the new Ministry of Power was working urgently on proposals to restructure the power sector beginning with the Volta River Authority (VRA) and the Bui Power Authority (BPA), hinting that the key objective was to bring the management of hydro plants under one entity.
On Health, the President disclosed that the government would spend GH¢3billion cedis ($853.5 million) this year, as already contained in the 2015 Budget, to add 6000 new hospital beds over the next two years. Also, 15 new Polyclinics would be constructed this year in addition to some 13 new District hospitals which are being constructed to bring quality health care to the people of Madina, Salaga, and Twifo Praso.
Concerning Education, the President said the free Senior High School (SHS) programme would be rolled out starting from the beginning of the 2015-2016 academic year. In his words, “367,000 day students will pay no fees and will benefit from the policy.”
He added that 10,000 scholarships will be provided to brilliant students whose parents were not financially capable of footing their school bills. This will be in addition to boosting the capacity of 5,500 science and mathematics teachers.
Finally, regarding agriculture, Mr Mahama disclosed the intention of the government to provide fertilizers, tractors and other agriculture inputs to farmers. According to him, the government had put measures in place to ensure a significant reduction in fish importation while adding cold stores and fish processing plants in parallel.
Source: Ventures Africa, Emmanuel Iruobe