The decision of the Nigerian-based West African Gas Pipeline to halt gas supplies to Ghana is causing another huge power crisis in Ghana, with industries and businesses expected to be the worst affected.
Gas supplies from Nigeria were restored only recently after an eight-month break, caused by the destruction of gas pipelines in Togo by a ship.
Now, the cause of the break in supplies is not a destruction of the pipelines but labour unrest, the state-owned Graphic newspaper reported on Wednesday.
“The Nigerian authorities communicated this bad news to us this afternoon (Tuesday). We are working out emergency measures to forestall adverse effects on individuals and industry,” the newspaper quoted sources at the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum as saying in Accra.
A power generating company, Asogli Power Plant, which produces 180 MW of power, relies solely on gas and will have to shut down. Other combined plants also use gas to generate electricity.
“This is certainly not good because other power plants are operating below capacity due to maintenance schedules, delay in crude oil supply and other factors,” the newspaper said.
Ghana relies on an energy mix of hydro, thermal and gas, with hydro being the largest source of generation.
But two of the main dams, Akosombo and Bui, are operating at critical levels as water in the dams are now rising slowly following rains in the catchment areas of northern Ghana and Burkina Faso mainly.
Ghana has been speeding up work on a gas plant in the west of the country to avoid disappointments of irregular supplies from Nigeria. Power supplies is a huge political issue in Ghana as the public cannot tolerate blackouts.
Ghana’s demand for electricity is between 1,800 and 2,000 MW.