Nigeria Gives Ghana Wednesday Deadline To Deal With $180M Debt — Gas Supplier

Ghana’s power rationing could get worse after Wednesday if government does not deal with a $180 million debt owed gas supplier, Nigeria Gas.

According to the former Chief Executive Officer of national power generator, Volta River Authority, Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby, Nigerian authorities have given a Wednesday deadline to “hear something satisfactory” from the Ghana government.

Nigeria has threatened to reduce the volume of gas it supplies through the 678 kilometer stretch of pipeline to Ghana if it does not get information on how Ghana plans to pay the money.

“If we lose the gas supply from Nigeria then it means that the dumsor [loadshedding] will intensify,” the energy expert told Joy News Monday.

Former Chief Executive Officer of the Volta River Authority Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby

Nigeria manages the West African Gas Pipeline Authority which regulates gas supply from Nigeria to customers in Benin, Togo and Ghana.

Ghana has a deal to receive a contractual volume of 120 million standard cubic feet of gas daily.

But the partnership, heralded as a significant break-through when gas from Nigeria hit Ghana in December 2008 has been troublesome on an uncomfortable number of occasions.

Government has in the past, held several discussions with Nigeria over the payment of the long-standing debt.

The cycle of debt-inspired power cuts has plagued Ghana’s energy sector. It happened in November 2014 and again in March 2015.

The size of the debt was put at about $100million in March 2015 and forced Nigeria to cut gas supply from 123million to 49million cubic feet.

The result was another chaotic distribution of power to consumers.

Although Ghana is expecting some significant reprieve from barges coming from Turkey, the power can only be available in November.

“Now the problem for us in stopping dumsor is not the arrival or non-arrival of the barge”, Dr. Wereko-Brobby said.

It cannot be confirmed how much Ghana could lose if Nigeria acts on its threat to cut gas supply again.

But according to Dr. Wereko-Brobby, Sunon Asogli Power Plant which is an Independent Power Plant runs solely on gas from Nigeria and will be grounded if gas supplies cease.

It generates 200 Megawatts.
According to Dr. Wereko-Brobby, government also owes Atuabo Gas Company more than 100million cedis.

Ghana’s power crisis has been cyclical but the current round began in 2011 after a boat on the high seas damaged parts of the West African gas supply pipeline.

What began as a technical problem has become a full blown crisis which many believe is now more financial than technical.

Source: Myjoyonline
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