The Volta River Authority (VRA) says it is holding discussions with the Nigerian authorities to restore full supply of gas to Ghana to enable the VRA to do full production of electricity.
At a news conference in Accra yesterday to update the current power supply over the weeks, the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Kweku .A. Awotwi said his outfit is equally disturbed about the situation and said they are working assiduously to return to normalcy of full production.
Over the past weeks, the country has been experiencing load shading of electricity.
Mr. Awotwi mentioned three factors; the erratic supply of gas from Nigeria, the regulatory of gas flow by the West African Gas Pipeline due to the moisture content of the gas and the switching back and forth of the use of gas to crude oil on the turbines as factors to the recent load shedding exercise.
He noted that under the contractual agreement, Nigeria is to supply Ghana for that matter VRA with 100 million cubic metric tones of gas daily but unfortunately, the supply has reduced to 60 million metric tones, a short fall of 40 million metric tones far below the required capacity to power the turbines.
He explained that when that happens, VRA has no alternative than to shut down the turbines which feeds on gas. Better still, he said, the company has to switch to the use of crude oil which has contributed to the break down of two of its turbines.
However, he said, engineers have been able to work on one of the turbines which is currently feeding of the supply whiles effort are being made to restore the second turbine.
Mr. Awotwi noted that between January and February this year alone, the company lost $20 million as result of the irregular gas supply and subsequent production of power.
He stated that he would also not rule out the current situation and agitations in Nigeria as some of the possible factors that is hindering the supply as the citizenry are mounting pressure on the government to provide them with regular power supply among request.
He said the company is hopeful that barring any technical hitch, the low shading exercise would be over in two or three weeks time and appealed to the public to be patient with the company.
Mr. Awotwi noted that VRA tasked with the responsibility of generating power among other functions, would not shirk its responsibility considering the vital role that electricity play to the country’s socio-economic drive adding that every year, there is an average growth of 5.4 per cent of electricity which boost productivity, growth and development.
He said that VRA’s production has grown from 1,500 Gigawatt hour in 1967 to 10,273 Gigawatt hour in 2010 with 5.4 percent growth rate per annum of electricity adding that having all these in mind, amidst the increasing demand of electricity, the company would not do anything retrogress its performance and successes over the years.
He noted that though the authorities in Nigeria have promised that the restoration would be done in the shortest possible time VRA is hopeful that the suppliers would fulfill their promise to enable VRA go into full production.
Mr. Awotwi said with the discovery of oil, and the construction of the Bui Dam and the expectant construction of wind energy next year, the country is expected to generate more electricity.