Gov’t seeks VRA’s help to export excess power
The Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo, has entreated the management of the Volta River Authority (VRA) to leverage on their power export experience within the sub-region to help the government unburden itself from the unwarranted costs associated with the excess power capacity the country currently has.
He made the appeal while speaking as the Special Guest of Honour during the launch of the 60th Anniversary celebration of the VRA in Accra, Wednesday October 28, 2020.
Mr Maafo said during the infamous power crisis about half a decade ago that plunged the country into prolonged darkness, the government of the day resorted to undertaking several take-or-pay power agreements that resulted in accruing over 5000 MW of power, about 2300 more than the country actually needs.
In effect, the present government has had to hive off some 500 million dollars annually to offset payments for the excess capacity that the country does not use.
Within the West African sub-region, however, VRA has for several years unfailing supplied power to the neighbouring countries of Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso and La Cote d’Ivoire.
It is in view of this, therefore, that the Senior Minister has called on the Authority to assist government to let off the excess power through exports to the surrounding countries, and get rid of that debt obligation.
The former Finance Minister praised the management of Ghana’s first power generating institution for carrying on with the core mandate for which it was established some six decades prior. He further commended the VRA for maintaining consistency in their operations, building and holding true to a culture of excellence while upgrading itself to be a modern digital private utility.
Though its core mandate in 1961 was electricity generation from the Akosombo dam, the VRA has extended its reach, adding on-stream power from other clean sources such as thermal and renewable energy from solar and wind.
In the last few years, the Authority has initiated several projects of such nature in the northern and other parts of the country, many of which have been commissioned by government.
VRA’s diamond jubilee is themed: “Celebrating 60 Years in the Power Business, Our Legacy, Our Future,” and details a series of activities which will culminate in a grand durbar on April 26, 2021.
Source: Energy Ghana