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Ghana Faces Extended Power Cuts Due To Nigerian Gas Shortage

Ghana is expected to endure at least three more weeks of power cuts due to a shortage of gas supplies from Nigeria. The state power firm announced that maintenance work at an unnamed Nigerian gas supplier is the cause of the disruption.

The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) have faced significant challenges in maintaining consistent power supply, leading to frequent outages known locally as ‘dumsor,’ meaning ‘on and off’ in the Akan language. This issue has plagued Ghanaians for years, with power demand steadily increasing due to rapid urbanisation and population growth.

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To address the shortfall, the Ghanaian government needs to secure around $400 to purchase gas and liquid fuel for power plants. The ongoing power shortages, which began earlier this year, are exacerbated by the ECG’s debt of nearly $1.2bn to private energy producers, including Nigerian suppliers.

Last July, private suppliers threatened to shut down operations over unpaid arrears, further complicating the situation. The West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo) has also reported gas shortages affecting people in Togo and Benin, stating that the current situation is beyond their control.

Public frustration has been mounting, prompting the ECG and GRIDCo to issue a joint statement on Thursday, assuring the public of their efforts to minimise the impact of the gas supply reduction. The companies plan to implement load-shedding to distribute available supplies efficiently and ensure essential services remain operational.

‘The current situation is entirely out of WAPCo’s control,’ the company noted, emphasising the challenges faced by the region.

Barely two months ago, President Nana Akufo-Addo reduced electricity exports to Togo, Burkina Faso, and Benin due to similar supply challenges. The persistent power shortages have worsened as Ghana grapples with its worst economic crisis in a decade.

Ghana, one of the world’s largest producers of gold and cocoa, has increasingly relied on gas as a primary energy source for electricity generation. Despite this, the country continues to face issues with poorly maintained hydro and thermal power sources.

As the country navigates this prolonged period of power cuts, the ECG and GRIDCo remain committed to managing disruptions effectively and ensuring the least possible impact on consumers.

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