From all indications, Ghana’s power problems is set to worsen. While Ghana’s Electricity Company is still battling with government over their attempt to officially announce the return of load shedding, Wapco cuts gas supply to the country.
Reports from Reuters reveal that the West African Gas Pipeline Company (Wapco) said on Tuesday has suspended the flow of gas from Nigeria to Ghana. The pipeline company, Wapco cuts gas supply to Ghana due to unpaid bills by the Ghana government.
Ghana’s state power producer, Volta River Authority owes Nigeria’s N-Gas around $180 million, while N-Gas in turn owes the Pipeline Company $104 million, Wapco spokeswoman Harriet Wereko-Brobby said.
According to her, this was the first time the pipeline, a public-private partnership in which a Chevron subsidiary has a 36.9 percent stake, has been closed over non-payment.
Energy supply has become a critical issue for Ghana’s government in recent times, and it appears to be worsening in this election year. Overtime, regular blackouts also known in the country as dumsor have angered voters and this year power price crises have continued to skyrocket.
Ghana is currently working to lower inflation and bring down its budget deficit under a programme with the International Monetary Fund that aims to resolve a fiscal crisis brought about in part through government overspending. We would also recall that there were reports not long ago which have it that the government is also heavily owing the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).
Only a small portion of Ghana’s energy needs were supplied through the pipeline, but the suspension is likely to heighten power supply problems, given low water levels at the main hydro plants. And while the ECG is still battling with government over their attempt to officially announce load shedding (dumsor), following renewed power crisis, Wapco cuts gas supply to the country. There are now fears that this would consequently increase the country’s reliance on imported gas.