President John Dramani Mahama has said his government plans to make the country a power hub in the West African sub-region by 2020.
“The prospects of electricity production in Ghana are very bright, and we have taken all the necessary steps to make sure that Ghana becomes a major supplier of power in West Africa by the year 2020”, the president disclosed in an interview with Sunrise FM in the Eastern Region on Thursday 14 April 2016.
According to him, by 2020, “Ghana will be supplying not only itself with electricity… but we will be a major supplier of electric power to neighbouring countries.” He said government’s $7.5 billion investment with ENI – an Italian multinational oil and gas company – will see a provision of 1.5 million cubic feet of gas to produce power.
He added that the power sector was currently matching demand in the country, but there was the need to produce in excess to cushion against energy challenges. “We need to build redundancy to cover for a deficit whenever there are challenges. That is why we are putting up more plants,” he added.
He explained that the unavailability of the required quantities of gas has resulted in underutilisation of some power generation units.
“In the Eastern part in Tema, we normally have about 600MW of thermal generation that is stranded because we do not get enough gas from the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCO). Those plants run only on gas, unlike the Kpone Thermal Plant. The Asogli plant also runs only on gas and we have just finished Phase II, which is 180MW,” revealed Mr Mahama.
“So, anytime gas does not come through the West Africa Gas Pipeline, then it means that almost 500-600MW of power is not available to us.” The situation has prompted government to sign an agreement to acquire a Floating Storage Re-Gasification Unit, FSRU. “By the end of this year, we should have it functional in Ghana,” he added.
He saw the ENI agreement as key and noted that “Ghana will get additional gas” as a result of that investment. He said the arrival of FPSO John Evans Atta Mills will also help shore up Ghana’s gas resources.