Ghana to spend $ 470 mm on energy

Nov 17, 2006 01:00 AM

The Ghana government is to spend $ 470 mm within the next three years to improve the energy generating capacity of the country, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, has stated.
He said the medium-term strategic goal for the energy sector was to restore the power generating capacity of the country and also upgrade the infrastructure in order to improve the reliability of power supply.

Presenting the 2007 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the government to Parliament in Accra, Mr Baah-Wiredu assured Parliament that the 125 MW Osagyefo barge and the 126-MW power plant which the Volta River Authority (VRA) was procuring this year would be operational by August next year.
He further stated that a 300-MW thermal power plant would be installed in Tema by 2009 and that financing arrangements for the expansion of the Takoradi International Company power plant by 110 MW would be completed to enable construction to begin next year. He said the VRA, the mining companies and the Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Mines would procure an 80-MW power plant and that, he said, would be operational by April 2007.

The minister said the government was sourcing funds from the Chinese government to finance the Bui Dam project and stated that that project would add 400 MW to the generation capacity of the country and thus increase the security of Ghana’s power supply.
Mr Baah-Wiredu further stated that the government would speed up the development of renewable energy technologies, particularly wind, solar and waste power in 2007. He said energy efficiency and conservation would be given a strong boost through the procurement of more compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) to replace 1 mm incandescent bulbs with CFLs as a first step by the end of 2007.
“The momentum we have gained in the public education campaign on energy use and conservation will also be maintained throughout 2007 and beyond,” the minister said.

Mr Baah-Wiredu, however, stated that the government’s absorption of the recent increases announced by the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) was only a temporary measure and that it was still committed to full cost recovery in the energy sector. He said as a result of the high misuse of or wastage through consumption of utility services by employees from within government organisations, the government was desirous of rationalising the consumption of those services, especially in public institutions.
As a first step towards the control of energy consumption by government agencies, the government had proposed that all public buildings, including ministries, departments and agencies, would be fitted with pre-paid electricity meters. That, he explained, would cut down cost in the use of telephone facilities in governmental organisations.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said a pilot exercise would begin with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning where cost accounting and least cost routing system would be installed. That system would enable the ministry to track and monitor the use of telephones, he said, stressing that the system would be replicated in all public institutions to effectively monitor, control and manage the use of telecommunication resources in all governmental organisations.
He said a similar monitoring and tracking system would be designed for the use of water in public institutions.

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