‘Power Barge Won’t End Dumsor’

GOVERNMENT DELEGATION on Sunday held a short ceremony to welcome the Karpower barge which had docked at the Tema Fishing Harbour.

However, contrary to claims by National Democratic Congress (NDC) government propagandists, the Minister of Power, Dr Kwabena Donkor, has emphasised that the arrival of the barge would not end the dumsor or erratic power supply.

The power barge docked at the Tema Harbour Saturday evening, and at a welcoming ceremony on Sunday, Dr Donkor said the ship, which is about the size of a football pitch and the height of a three-storey building, would ease the load shedding.

‘Let me say that the arrival of this barge will not solve all our problems,’ Dr Donkor, who has promised to end what has now become known as dumsor by the close of 2015, failing which he would resign his post, underscored.

‘It will make a contribution. As we speak the 250MW power project at Aboadze is also proceeding and indeed that is even bigger than the Karpowership… the KTPP Plant’s 220 MW is also at completion stage and TICO’s 120MW steam expansion has been completed. TAPCO has gone through the full combine cycle and a lot is happening in the sector. We do ourselves and Ghana a disservice when we focus only on the power barge,’ he added.

The ceremony was to give government officials the opportunity to have firsthand information about the 235 MW power generation ship on its arrival.

President John Dramani Mahama is expected to commission the barge when all the connections are completed in a couple of weeks’ time.

Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Minister of Power, John Jinapor, was positive that with the arrival of the two power barges, coupled with arrangements being put in place to get some thermal plants in the country to generate power into the national grid, Ghanaians would have nothing to worry about.

Orhan Remzi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Koradeniz Holding, manufacturers of the power ship, said its (barge’s) cost of operation is lower than that of thermal power generation in the world.

The CEO added that the ship would be using heavy fuel to generate electricity but would also have the ability to revert to natural gas as soon as gas is made available, which would help Ghana save some money.

Earlier, Director for Public Affairs at the Public Utilities Regulation Commission (PURC), Nana Yaa Jantuah, and accredited journalists who were billed to cover the arrival of the barge were locked outside the yard, as security officers demanded that they dress in reflectors before being allowed into the premises.

It took the intervention of some officials of Karpower for some selected journalists and officials to have access into the yard to witness the inspection ceremony by the sector minister.

Although the power barge was scheduled to dock at the Tema Port in the first quarter of this year, it was rescheduled to September, with government not being able to meet the initial timelines.

On November 6, 2015, the power barge sailed out of Turkish waters towed by a speed deck cargo ship (Black Marine) in order to ensure a faster cruise to Ghana.

On November 22, 2015 the Black Marine docked at the Ivory Coast port where it was offloaded and handed over to other speed boats from the Ghana Navy after some documentation.

The power purchase agreement (PPA) was signed between the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and Karpowership Ghana Company to generate 450 MW for 10 years into the national grid.

 From Vincent Kubi, Tema

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