The Ministry of Power says adequate measures have been put in place to avoid a shutdown of electricity generating plants in the country should Nigeria go ahead to cut gas supply to Ghana.
Nigeria has threatened to cut gas supply to Ghana by Friday due to unpaid debt of about 182 million dollars; a situation that is likely to significantly reduce electricity generation as a result of a possible shutdown of the country’s thermal plants.
A delegation has since Wednesday been holding emergency talks with the Nigerian authorities to avert the situation. This, the Head of Corporate Affairs of the Ministry of Power, Kweku Sessah-Johnson believes, will result in a positive outcome.
“I’m confident there will be an agreement…I believe that there will be a positive outcome,” he told an Accra -based radio station, Joy FM Wednesday evening, noting “there are other contingent plans to ensure that Ghana is not plunged into darkness”.
He however did not give details on the said contingency plan except to say that Ghana Gas is on stream to providing “substantial amount of gas” to power thermal plants in the Takoradi enclave.
“One good thing is that for now Ghana does not rely solely on West African Gas Pipeline Company for gas…. Besides, not all the plants use gas. Apart from Asogli, most of the plants use liquid oil so I believe that we shall overcome,” he added.
Mr. Sessah-Johnson said Ghana has 15 per cent shares in WAPCo and “whatever it is, at least, they [Nigeria] cannot just cut us off completely”.
He noted that most of the thermal generation plants can run on liquid crude oil, which he said Ghana has some in store but could not provide the amount that is currently available and whether that will be enough, saying “I cannot tell”.
Asked what preparations are being done to ensure a smooth switch of the plants from gas to liquid crude, he said the engineers responsible for that “should be working on that” in the event Nigeria cuts supply of gas to Ghana.
Meanwhile, the power barges being procured by the government to augment electricity generation is likely to delay as the Ghana National Petroleum Company is yet to receive a confirmation on the guarantee to be issued by Ecobank Ghana for the release of the power barges.
Its Chief Executive, Alex Mould, told journalists in Accra Wednesday that company has already paid 100 million dollars into the account of the bank, indicating that final paper work by ECG and Eecobank for the payment of the barges is expected to be done by next week.
Government had announced the barges would arrive in the country on November 10, after it failed to deliver on an earlier date in September. The new delivery date is not likely to be met since that is dependent on payments from Ghana.
“There’s nothing else GNPC can do about it. We have given them the funds required to establish this guarantee,” Mr. Mould said.