A former Chief Executive of electricity generators, the Volta River Authority (VRA), Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby, has painted an optimistic picture of Ghana’s energy crisis.
He says the power challenges, called 'dumsor' in local parlance could improve by July and end by December when maintenance works on important power installations is complete.
"We should be able certainly before July or if not be able to return to 12-hours off, moving very much towards of the end of the year, we should be able to return to business as usual", he predicted on Joy FM's Super Morning Show Monday.
But he undercuts the optimism with a caveat that it will ultimately require government paying off its debt to Nigeria to guarantee consistent gas supply to Ghana’s thermal plants.
Tracing a vicious cycle of debt, Dr. Wereko Brobby explained that government owes the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) about $1.6billion while ECG owes the VRA a similar amount.
VRA owes Nigeria $130million completing the cycle of power-related debts.
According to Wereko Brobby, maintenance works on TICO unit No.1 was completed in April releasing 100megawatts more to the national grid.
Kpong thermal plant is expected to be restored by May. It will generate 36 megawatts.
TICO Steam turbine is scheduled to be up and running by May and will bring 100 more crucial megawatts this month.
The 180megawatts Sunon Asogli expansion plant is projected to produce power at full capacity by June, he continued.
These improvements in power supply in coming weeks means the 500mw deficit which is the cause of the current load shedding could be bridged.
This progressive state of affairs means the days of dumsor are numbered, he argued.
To ensure the sustainability of regular power supply, Dr. Wereko-Brobby is encouraging government to pay off its huge debts.
“Already Nigeria has officially put us on notice,” that we need to honour our financial obligations, the former VRA CEO revealed.
If Nigeria cuts its gas, Asogli will be shut down and a domino effect of shutdowns will ravage through Ghana’s thermal power enclave in Takoradi.
Dr. Wereko-Brobby believes that it is not prudent to invest huge monies in power barges from Turkey and Dubai when the money is needed to immediately solve “a real and present danger” of having gas supply cut off from Nigeria.
He wants government to focus on “paying off ECG debts so ECG can pay VRA and VRA pay can Nigeria”.