Gov’t down to two weeks to meet emergency power barges deadline


Businesses are growing disenchanted with any hope of improvement in the ongoing power crisis with only two weeks more for Government to uphold its promise to bring in emergency power.

Two entrepreneurs on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Wednesday are unoptimistic about Government’s ability to provide them with a basic lifeline for their operations-reliable power supply

President Mahama, the Power and Energy Ministers, have all reiterated that emergency power barges will arrive in April to add 450megawatts to the national grid.

Five years into her entrepreneurship, Creative Director of Msimps, Mabel Simpson, says she has recorded the worst sales in a three-month-old new year.

Mabel says the national grid has been reduced to a backup power source, promoting her generator as the foremost source of power for he business.

She never anticipated that the crisis would get this bad. Her business plan this year was to employ more hands. Now she is spending revenue on power and her hopes of helping reduce unemployment are dashed.

“I run my generator for 22 hours straight” she recounted her difficulty.

A website and business application developer Kwame Kusi who is CEO of Oilseed Consult explained how depending on government promises turned out to be a bad move.

“We worked also with a lot of the promises we were getting from Government and people who knew exactly what was wrong with the energy sector,” he said.

He is now utilising a generator for his operations and is mulling over buying a bigger genset because of frequent breakdowns.

“If you don’t have electricity in the morning then you have to stay up at night to work….and there is the security concern because if at about 12 midnight you stay up to work, it doesn’t feel too good”.

Mabel Simpson and Kwame Kusi agree that this year “has been the most trying of times for all the business”.

Government has been assuring the nation that April will see an easing in the power paralysis.

“There were stories that this whole thing will end in April but it doesn’t look likely [because] that means we have two weeks more for dumsor to end”.

A failure to uphold this deadline is sure to break the hearts of many who had harboured hopes that short-term solutions proposed by Government was realistic.

However, one institution that harboured no such hope is the African Center for Energy Policy, which has consistently dismissed Government’s plan as unrealistic.

August was their earliest prediction for emergency power because ACEP believes it takes six months to prepared the harbour to host the power barges. According to the policy think tank, no such preparation is ongoing on at the Tema harbour.

They also argued that the agreement with Turkish company Karpower, to bring in the power barges, has yet to be finalized.

  Story by Ghana|Myjoyonline|Edwin Appiah|edwin.appiah@myjoyonline.com


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