Ghana’s aim of being a power player in global energy supply, with particular emphasis on oil and gas, stems from measures already been put in place by successive governments in the last 50 years.
The sole objective of building a strong energy foundation, as envisaged by stakeholder institutions, past, and present governments, is to contribute to the overall socio economic development of the country.
The Deputy Minister of Energy in charge of power supply, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, who made this known when he addressed a grand durbar to commemorate the launch of the 50th Anniversary of the existence of the Volta River Authority (VRA) at Aboadze in the Shama District of the Western Region recently, said Ghana was endowed with a variety of energy resources, including biomass, hydrocarbon, hydropower, solar and wind.
In addition, he said, the country had the capacity to produce modern bio-fuel, and was exploring options to develop nuclear energy.
According to the Deputy Minister, stakeholders of Ghana’s energy sector had therefore created a platform to secure for the nation a reliable supply of high quality energy services for all sectors of the economy, and also become a major exporter of oil and power by 2012 and 2015 respectively.
To be able to do this, the government, he explained, together with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Volta River Authority (VRA) and Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) are developing gas processing and power generating plants to utilise associated gas in the jubilee field, close to Bonyire in the Jomoro District of the Western Region.
This, he noted, was to supplement gas supply from the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) from Nigeria.
In addition, he disclosed that the government had given approval to the VRA to seek funding through the United Nations Kyoto agreement, for the development of renewable energy, particularly, solar and wind, to augment the portfolio.
Aside that, he said, there were various projects ongoing in the power sector, which are all aimed at increasing the installed power generation capacity from 2,000 Mega Watts to 5,000 by 2015. It would further be increased, in terms of accessibility to universal coverage by 2020, as envisaged by players in the energy sector.
“The fundamental goal of the government of Ghana’s development agenda is to achieve macro economic stability, and improve on our newly-achieved middle income status. Energy is the engine of growth for any economy. Our challenge is how to increase the energy supply, and also expand the energy infrastructure in the country, in a way that is sustainable.
“Currently, the challenge faced by government is the diversification of the generation mix in a sustainable manner. As part of the energy sector goals, this objective is gradually being met,” Inusah Fuseini underscored.
The Deputy Western Regional Minister, Madam Betty Bosomtwi-Sam, who read a speech on behalf of the Regional Minister, Mr. Paul Evans Aidoo, acknowledged the contribution of the VRA to the development of the country, saying, “The contribution of the VRA to the socio economic development of Ghana cannot be compared by any single project since the day of Governor Gurggisberg.”
She, therefore, urged other public sector workers and professionals to take a cue from the excellent performance of the VRA to improve upon service delivery.
The Chief Executive Officer of the VRA, Mr. Kweku Awortwi, in an address, said the VRA was given the challenge to produce electricity to accelerate the socio economic development of Ghana, a duty it had discharged creditably.
He said the VRA was the second largest electricity generating company in sub-Saharan Africa, after South Africa’s Eskom, demonstrating its capacity and influence in the energy sector.
Professor Akilakpa Sawyer, Chairman of the VRA Board, who chaired the function, said the excellent performance of the company cannot be sustained if the management and workers failed to attach commitment, dedication, and renewed relationships with stakeholder institutions
Source Ghanaian Chronicle