There is this fixation with installed and dependable capacity. However, the issue here is available capacity. For example, on the 22/04/21, Akosombo was generating 732MW from 5 units out of an installed capacity of 1020MW and a ‘dependable’ capacity of 900MW. Kpong was generating 73MW instead of 160MW on same day and Bui’s hydro of 400MW hydro off.
It therefore means that on the same day, hydro sources gave us 805MW instead of the so-called dependable capacity of 1365MW.
On the stated day, Tapco generated 215MW, Tico 325MW, Sunon Asogli 437MW, Karpower 435MW, Cenit 102MW, Cenpower 180MW, Aksa 200MW, Siemens 28MW and Bui (Solar) 21MW.
Compare the real data for the day to what the lady is claiming in her vídeo.
We must also take into account that three units of Valco are today idle but ought to have been on stream. The three units would consume another 225MW.
If we agree on a twenty percent redundancy, our so called excess capacity virtually becomes non existent.
The real issue is not excess capacity but capacity charges arising from ‘Take or Pay’ contracts. Take or Pay is standard in most developing countries to ensure the appropriate investment in thermal plants. And average 330MW thermal plant in our subregion would cost about $500m to build.
Investors would want to ensure that the power they generate would be ‘bought’ prior to a final investment decision. Countries desiring such investment would have to assure investors. We must always remember that there is a fierce competition for FDI in the developing world.
It is therefore not for nothing that every single thermal plant other than by VRA has been on a ‘Take or Pay’ basis whether it has been under President Rawllings, President Kuffour, President Atta Mills or under President Mahama . It is also worthy of note that what we commit to pay if a power plant is available and we cannot evacuate is not the whole tariff but a percentage labeled ‘capacity charge’ which enables the investors to service the finance cost of the project.
The real issue as a nation is how we treat such cost. Depending on our record in meeting our financial obligations, we ought to be in a position to add units to existing capacity in future without the current constraints.
It is unfortunate that the lady making the accusation may not have been properly briefed by her handlers. The 330kv line from Aboadze to Accra was constructed under the NDC. The Aboadze Prestea Kumasi 330Kv is another one initiated by the NDC government. We also constructed the Accra Aflao 330KV transmission line. We should not also forget the 330kv export line to Burkina Faso terminating into Burkina’s 225kv line.
Under the NDC government, the Ghanaian State through Gridco implemented the Substation Reliability Project where a number of Gridco substations were upgraded with higher capacity assets. The Tema Accra Fourth Bulk Supply Point was initiated by the State through Gridco under our watch. Indeed the the Pokuasi Bulk Supply Point through MCC was our decision.
It is therefore surprising that the author of the video would ignorantly accuse the Government of the NDC of not investing in transmission.
Our investment was in tandem with the expansion in generation.
Every Government of the day would face the challenges of the day and it is good practice to tackle the challenges of your watch rather than diversionary attempts such as this.
I rather choose to answer the technical issues here.
While at it, I would encourage the Government to pursue the construction of a national systems control backup center in Kumasi as initiated by Gridco during my time in office as Minister of Power.
MP, Pru East