Load shedding to end by December – Power Minister

Dr-KwabenaDonkorThe Minister of Power, Dr Kwabena Donkor, on Friday, reassured Ghanaians that the current national load shedding exercise would be over by December.

He, however, could not predict that the power crisis would not recur after the December timeline because of unforeseen occurrences.

He told Parliament that the continuous power crisis (Dumsor) has been as a result of lack of mandatory and special routine maintenance of some generating units and fuel supply challenges leading to the shutdown of some thermal plants.

The Minister’s reassurance was in response to an urgent question that stood in the name of Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh, Member of Parliament (MP) for Nsawam Adoagyiri.

The Nsawam Adoagyiri Legislator wanted to know from the Minister what concrete steps the Ministry have taken to put an end to the power crises, and what timelines Ghanaians should anticipate.

The Minister was supposed to answer the question on Thursday but he was rescheduled for Friday because of a visit by MPs to some flood disaster areas in Accra on Thursday.

Dr Donkor said government would soon restore the generating plants that have been shut down as a result of fuel challenges.

He announced that government is going to restore the supply of gas from the West African Gas Pipeline to feed the thermal plants in addition to the Emergency Power Supply of 250 megawatts by KarPower.

The Minister said 180mw Asogli Phase 2 part one is also coming on board, 370 Aster Power Project as well as other new power units would be around to support hydro generation.

Government is promoting other alternatives such as solar, biogas, nuclear and coals for the generation of electricity.

“Enough projects are in the pipeline to address the problem in the medium term,” the Minister told the House.

Mr Annoh-Dompreh demanded from the Minister to tell the House whether the government has given money or provided budget for the solutions to be carried out but the First Deputy Speaker, Mr Ebo Barton-Odro who was presiding did not allow the Minister to answer that question.

He said the question was not related to the matter on the floor.

The MP for Nsawam/Adoagyiri, Frank Annoh-Dompreh was not happy because according to him money is needed to carry out all the interventions to bring the power crisis to an end.

“Mr speaker, without budget it will be difficult for the Ministry to work and carry out all these proposed programmes,” he said

The MP for Nsawam/Adoagyiri later told journalists that without the Ministry providing the source of funding for the projects, he would take the Minister’s assurance as rhetoric.

“The President of the Republic, John Mahama has given so many assurances including the recent one in his State of the Nation address to parliament that the government is tackling the problem and that he was going to fix the problem once and for all but currently there is no evidence as to what concrete steps the government has taken in solving this serious issue,” he said.

He added that that the current power crisis is not a generation problem but it is funding, which would ensure that the shutdown plants are restored as the minister had said.

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