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NPP ‘stopping’ Ghana from exporting electricity – Mutawakilu

Adams Mutawakilu

A member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority in Parliament, Adams Mutawakilu, has accused the Akufo-Addo government of impeding former President John Mahama’s vision of making Ghana a net exporter of electricity.

This follows government’s decision to terminate 11 Power Purchase Agreements (PPA), with the justification that it would save the country some $7.2 billion dollars over a 13 year period.

Redundant plants

Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, who has described some of the agreements as knee-jerk reactions to the dumsor crisis, explained that the agreements would be providing excess power.

He said the review of the agreements revealed that, “the projected capacity additions from the PPAs were far in excess of the required additions inclusive of the 20 percent system reserve margin from 2018 to 2030, and would result in the payment of capacity charges for undispatched plants.”

With all the power projects signed by Ghana, the total capacity is estimated to be 10,800 megawatts, even though the country needs 5,000 megawatts.

But Adams Mutawakilu, the Minority’s Spokesperson on Mines and Energy, believes the government could have leveraged facilities such as the West African Power Pool to export excess power from the country in a move that would increase foreign exchange earnings as envisaged by the Former President.

Under the ECOWAS Energy Strategy, the first phase of the West Africa Power Pool APL3, aims to curb imbalances between domestic energy resources and the needs of member states with specific emphasis on Burkina Faso.

Adams Mutawakilu suggested to Citi News that the Akufo-Addo government is not being ambitious enough when it comes to power.

“They have narrowed it to the national demand, per the minster’s [Boakye Agyarko] response. He never included government’s vision to make Ghana an energy exporter or a power exporter, and I think that we need to look at it broadly than just limiting it to Ghana’s needs.”

“Currently, we consume at peak 2225 MW, but currently we have 4500 MW… if we don’t take time, the vision President Mahama had for this country of being a net exporter of power might not be achieved,” Mr. Mutawakilu added.

As part of efforts to integrate national power systems in West Africa, Ghana in 2012 procured a $25.9 million loan facility from the International Development Association (IDA), under the West Africa Power Pool APL3.

The facility is to enable the construction of a 225-kilovolt-transmission line interconnection, and associated sub-station in Ghana and Burkina Faso, as part of the first phase of the World Bank backed Inter-Zonal Transmission Hub Project of the APL3 programme.

Disclosure on terminated PPAs

However on the matter of exporting power, a former deputy Minister of Power, John Jinapor, believes that it would not make sense for Ghana to have excess power with the view to exporting at all times, since the countries with insufficient power, are equally working on improving their situation.

He said when this happens over time, these countries will  no longer need to buy Ghana’s excess power, which means the country would have lost and wasted investments in its generation capacity.

Mr. John Jinapor has however called for more details on the cancellation of the PPAs.

The terminations are to come at a cost of $402 million, but Mr. Jinapor believes some of the payments may not be warranted.

According to Mr. Jinapor, some of the companies in deals with Ghana have breached agreements and are not deserving of any form of compensation.

By: Duke Mensah Opoku & Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana