Audio Attachment:Listen to Sam Kwesi Fletcher, VRA Head of Coporate Affairs.
The Volta River Authority (VRA) has attributed the current energy crises to unforeseen power generation defects, which it says have made it operationally difficult to supply electricity across the country.
Following the recent power fluctuations which have since courted controversy over which supplier should be blamed for the shortcomings, the VRA has claimed responsibility for the insufficient electricity supply to various communities in the country.
Mr. Sam Kwesi Fletcher, VRA Head of Coporate Affairs, in an interview with Kwame Sefa-kayi on Peace FM’s morning show programme,“kokrokoo”, indicated that the energy situation has arisen as a result of the imbalances in supply and demand for electricity.
According to him, the supply of power to vicinities and residential areas of the country has dwindled because of the high demand on the Authority to generate power for the entire nation.
He explained that the supply cannot meet the demand for power but hoped the shortfall will be rectified to remediate the situation.
Making clarification about the causes of the power fluctuations, he expounded that the Authority noticed defects in the Takoradi Thermal Power Station (TTPS) at Aboadze, in which three turbines developed faults which complicated the operations of the Authority to generate power for the transmission company, GRIDCO.
“The problem emanated from Aboadze. We have something called the switch yard, it’s like a substation but it’s the first substation we generate power before GRIDCO does transmission throughout the country…it encountered some problem and so, it couldn’t sustain the load from the machines. So, the machines also became faulty.
“So, there was a need for us to switch it off for repairs and then, restart the machines…Three machines run down immediately…When the lights go out, most of the problem is from generation. Because we don’t have enough supply,” he said.
He continued that the Authority encountered problems with a substation at Aboadze, which affected the generation machines. If the machines had not been restarted; they would be overloaded from the already 250 megawatts power capacity to 400 megawatts. This he said would intensify the load on the power generation machinery.
He therefore emphasized the need for an establishment of reserves to store up enough energy to complement the supply of power to various areas in the country.
With the economy growing rapidly, there is a huge demand for electricity; he said, adding that the demand does not correspond with the capacity of energy the company generates for transmission. He further detailed that the company is expected to produce about 1700 megawatts to 1720 megawatts each day and this comes on the back of the energy needs which hike up by 10% per year.
He therefore proposed for government’s assistance to set up a storage facility to augment the supply of power to the country.
He highlighted: “We have to produce exactly 1720. If we even meet the demand but we don’t have a reserve. And our reserve, the only way we can get a reserve is when we have a machine available so when anything goes bad, we can start that machine…Having a reserve is as important as producing enough to meet the demand.”
The power failures were expected to be resolved this year. Several Ghanaians hoped it would be a thing of the past to experience the regular blackouts in 2012, but this has hit the rocks. Day in and out, the nation is plunged into total darkness despite the incessant concerns raised by stakeholders.
However, the VRA projects next month to find a lasting solution to the rampant blackouts.
Head of Corporate Affairs of the VRA assured the nation that the Authority is working assiduously to ensure that the thermal plant with an installed capacity of 132 megawatts becomes fully operational by the end of February to ameliorate the energy situation in the country.
He commended government for supporting the company to amortize its debts and also subvert the cost involved in generating power from crude oil.
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