Ghana announces 3 weeks of power cuts due to gas reduction from Nigeria

……..due to gas reduction from Nigeria

Ghana’s state-owned electricity company has announced a three-week interruption in power supply due to a reduction in gas supply from Nigeria.

The West African country has for several years been experiencing power shortages, popularly known as “dumsor”, which means “on and off” in the Akan language.

Power demand has steadily increased over the past two decades, partly due to rapid urbanisation and population growth.

The gas reduction, which began on Wednesday, is attributed to maintenance works being conducted by a gas supplier in Nigeria.

The maintenance has caused a reduction in power generation capacity across Ghana.

This prompted the need for load shedding to manage electricity distribution efficiently, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) said late on Thursday.

“The reduction in gas supply is due to maintenance works being undertaken by a gas supplier in Nigeria and is projected to last three weeks,” it added.

On Wednesday, the West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited (WAPCo) said it was  experiencing a drop in gas volumes available for transportation after one of its producers in Nigeria shut down its facility for maintenance.

This resulted in a decrease of gas available for WAPCo to transport to customers in Togo, Benin and Ghana.

“The current situation is entirely out of WAPCo’s control,” the regional power utility added.

“We expect normalcy to return after the maintenance activities.”

ECG assured the public it was working closely with other stakeholders in the power sector to optimise available resources and minimise the impact on consumers.

The companies pledged to manage the disruptions effectively to ensure essential services were not interrupted throughout the period of reduced gas supply.

It comes barely two months after President Nana Akufo-Addo curtailed the export of electricity to neighbouring Togo, Burkina Faso and Benin in response to local supply challenges.

In recent years, power shortages have worsened as the country grapples with its worst economic crisis in a decade.

Private electricity suppliers are owed $1.6bn (£1.3bn) by the state power company, according to Elikplim Kwabla Apetogbor, the head of the organisation representing them.

Last July, they threatened to shut down operations over the arrears.

Ghana, one of the world’s biggest producers of both gold and cocoa, has in the last few years become heavily reliant on gas as a major source of energy for electricity generation.

The country gets much of its electricity from hydro and thermal sources, but these are often poorly maintained. BBC

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