Ghana Gas Exposes Power Ministry

Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC) has exposed the Ministry of Power for misleading the public on the power crisis which has intensified of late.

The Gas company said the Dr. Kwabena Donkor-led ministry’s assertion that the current increase in load shedding in the country had come as a result of a shutdown of Ghana National Gas Company (Ghana Gas) ‘is incorrect,’ and described it as ‘disingenuous’ and ‘unhelpful.’

The Ministry of Power had issued a statement yesterday claiming that the current increase in the quantum of load shedding was as a result of a shutdown of Ghana Gas at Atuabo in the Western Region.

The release, issued in Accra and signed by the ministry’s Head of Public Affairs, Kweku Sersah-Johnson, on behalf of the minister, said Ghana Gas had shut down to enable the African Middle East Investment (AMERI) power plant to be connected onto the supply system of Ghana Gas.

It further said the completion of the AMERI plant installation ‘is expected to generate additional 250 megawatts into the National Interconnected Transmission System (NITS).’

It claimed, ‘Engineers of both the Ghana Gas and AMERI are working around the clock to complete the connection of the gas line to ameliorate the recent further decline in power supply in the country,’ and requested the public to ‘bear with the situation as the gas line connection is expected to be completed soon.’

But barely an hour after the release of the statement by the ministry, Ghana Gas, through its Corporate Communications Manager, Alfred Ogbamey, reacted angrily and said the ministry’s statement was not correct.

The counter-statement said Ghana Gas ‘has no contract regarding the ongoing installation works by African Middle East Investment (AMERI) power plant being installed at the Aboadze power enclave.’

Ghana Gas explained that ‘because of the experience gained in pipelines construction over the past four years, Ghana Gas engineers are only assisting the VRA to connect AMERI plant to its power systems.’

Explaining the collaboration, Ghana Gas said it received a request from VRA on November 12, 2015 to shut down its processing and supply of lean gas to enable it (VRA) to connect the AMERI plant to its existing gas pipelines from November 23 to 27, 2015.

The release said Ghana Gas ‘honoured the request’ of the VRA saying, ‘the shutdown of the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant was therefore, at the instance of the VRA, which claimed that it had made adequate arrangement for light crude oil to power its Aboadze Plant and avoid a shortfall in energy generation.’

Ghana Gas said it found the attempt by the Ministry of Power ‘to mislead the public on this matter disingenuous and unhelpful.’

It also said that it does not have any challenge with the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant, adding that ‘Today, November 24, marks exactly a year since Ghana Gas delivered the first lean gas to VRA. There has been no safety incidents recorded at the plant or unplanned outage within the same period.’

Some critics have said the Power Minister, Dr Kwabena Donkor, ‘is doing all these to escape from his own promise to resign if the dumsor did not end by December.’

He recently shifted the goal post when he said he did not say dumsor would end by December 2015, and said he was rather talking about ending load shedding, which many Ghanaians believe to be one and the same.

By William Yaw Owusu

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