ACEP Shares Views On The Energy Sector

Mar 2015

The Ghana chapter of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP Ghana), an Energy Policy and Governance Think-Tank, has commended government for the medium and long-term approach it intended to adopt to address the energy sector challenges.
ACEP has, however, expressed concern about the funding arrangements and structural issues involved in the deployment of emergency power generation plants to address the short-term challenges of the sector.
Addressing a news conference in Accra, yesterday, in response to the short, medium and long-term measures being put in place to address Ghana’s energy sector challenges —as contained in the President’s State of the Nation Address— the Executive Director of ACEP Ghana, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, called on government to fully disclose all the terms associated with the power barges and justification for value for money in the transactions.
Dr Adam reminded government of on-going projects like the Kpone Thermal Plant (220MW), TICO Expansion (110 MW), (TTIP 120 MW) and CENTI (100 MW) which are yet to be completed.
He urged government to fast-track negotiations for the interconnection project between the Atuabo Gas pipeline and the West Africa Pipeline to reverse stranded gas from Takoradi to Tema for use by the power plants.
He also called on government to evaluate the various projects, especially the Volta River Authority (VRA) generation projects, to determine their financial requirement and to develop a strategy to support the timely closure to financing and delivery of the projects.
In addition, he said, government should also assess the fuel requirements of these projects and publish a fuel security strategy, adding that there was the need for a high-level panel to co-ordinate and implement these projects under the leadership of the Ministry of Power— these projects being the most challenging programmes of the President, he noted.
On power sector reforms, Dr Adam said, ACEP’s view was that as part of the reforms—restructuring of the Bui  Authority and VRA— government should separate the VRA Thermal into a subsidiary of VRA, with between 30 and 49 per cent shareholding.
This arrangement, he said, would ensure that the VRA Thermal operated under the same conditions as other Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to improve its finances and efficiency in the management of its Thermal plants.
He expressed support for the determination of government to implement the conditions of the Millennium Challenge Compact (MCC) ll, but was quick to urge government to be steadfast about the institutional changes in the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to make it efficient and financially viable.
He, said as a demonstration of its commitment to the reform programme, government should publish a Request for Proposal for private sector participation in ECG.
On support for renewable energy and government’s plan to introduce 200,000 rooftop solar systems and the decision to fund the programme by increasing the Energy Fund Levy, Dr Adam urged government to publish guidelines on the disbursement of the funds accruing and the transparency framework that would be used to govern its management.
On the introduction of coal in the fuel mix under the Coal Plant Project, Dr Adam stressed the need for government to first develop industry regulations, industry standards, pricing, technology, waste disposal and environmental mitigation plans, and to put in place an appropriate port infrastructure.
He warned of the danger ahead, given that Asogli power was likely to bring in the coal plants from China, where most of their old coal plants had been decommissioned.
Furthermore, he said, an Electricity Law, similar to the Renewable Energy Act was required to provide options for electricity generation, including the legalization of the different types of fuel for use in generation, as well as address issues of electricity transmission and distribution.
Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)