IES to ECG, GRIDCo: DUMSOR not solely due to WAPCo’s gas supply issues


Xatse Derick Emmanuel, a research and policy analyst at the Institute for Energy Security (IES), has highlighted that Ghana’s power instability, commonly known as ‘Dumsor,’ has been an ongoing issue and not merely a result of the recent gas supply challenges announced by WAPCo.

Mr. Xatse pointed out that Ghana has been dealing with a power generation shortfall of around 600 MW since the beginning of the year. This context is crucial following a joint statement from the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), which announced a three-week power supply interruption due to a reduction in gas supply from Nigeria.

GRIDCo and ECG explained that the intermittent power supply results from maintenance works by a Nigerian gas supplier, which is expected to last three weeks. This maintenance has reduced Ghana’s overall power generation capacity, potentially leading to load management during the maintenance period.

However, Mr. Xatse emphasized that most of Ghana’s thermal plants can operate on alternative fuels such as Light Crude Oil (LCO), Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO), or Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), except for the Sunon-Asogli Power (SAPP) and AMERI plants, which rely solely on natural gas. With adequate financial support, these plants could potentially meet and even exceed Ghana’s peak power demand.

“From January 2024 to June 4, 2024, Ghana experiences a DUMSOR of about 600 MW. With the new development, WAPCo has announced a gas supply challenge, causing ECG and GRIDCo to issue a joint press release, the end effect is that Ghana will experience more DUMSOR, meaning there will be a deficit in power generation beyond 600 MW. The other good news is that the thermal plants can operate on Light Crude Oil (LCO) or Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO),” stated Xatse.

“Apart from Sunon-Asogli Power (SAPP) and AMERI, which rely only on Natural Gas, the rest operate on either HFO, LCO, or LPG. Therefore, with proper financial capacity, Ghana should be able to generate enough power to meet its peak demand. Ghana has an installed generation capacity of 5,194 MW, excluding embedded generation, which correlates to a dependable capacity of 4,756 MW. This means that Ghana should be generating enough power to exceed its peak demand.”

In conclusion, Mr. Xatse remarked, “ECG and the government should not ascribe the DUMSOR to WAPCo’s gas supply challenges because we have already been generating power at a deficit of 600 MW. Although WAPCo’s gas supply challenges will worsen the DUMSOR situation, the majority of the thermal plants can operate on either HFO, LCO, or LPG in place of Natural Gas.”

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