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General News
Cote d’Ivoire cuts power supply to Ghana 4/25/2007
The current energy crisis facing the country is far from over as Cote d’Ivoire suspends the export of power to Ghana.

According to an Accra-based rdaio station, JOYFM, the decision also affects neighbouring West African countries like Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso and Mali.

Sources at the Energy Ministry say production difficulties due to dwindling hydro-electric output and low gas supplies account for the power cut.

The Ghana Government has been negotiating for more power supply from French speaking Cote d’Ivoire under the West African Power Pool agreement which has not yet materialised.

In 2006 the Ivory Coast produced 5,542 GW of electricity, of which it consumed 80% and sold the remaining 20% to neighboring countries. This year output had been forecast to rise to 5,650 GW hours.

It will be recalled that early this month, the Petroleum Africa website, a leading authority on Africa gas and oil activities, reported the head of energy supply in Cote d’Ivoire to have said that Cote d’Ivoire will face major power disruptions in April and May.

“In April and May, Cote d’Ivoire will suffer major disruptions to its power supply that will be felt by neighboring countries,” according to a senior executive, as hydroelectric output falls and gas supplies run short.

“From April to June, we will have a disruption in the supply of electrical current in this country and certain others in the sub-region with which we have an interconnection,” said Kouadio Djaha, head of energy supply at the Ivorian Electricity Co., in an interview with Reuters.

This includes Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Burkina Faso. “It will be difficult for us to supply the needs of our foreign partners. We will be obliged to halt their supplies.”

The five West African countries are all looking for ways to boost their power supplies. Late last month, Moses Boateng, Managing Director of the Ghana National Petroleum Co., stressed that Ghana is in urgent need of investment to monetize its gas resources to boost power generation in the country that only has an installed electrical capacity of 1,700 MW, 70% of which is hydroelectric.

Seventy percent of the country’s energy needs are supplied by gas, with its three thermal power stations linked directly to gas fields by pipelines. Djaha said there was currently not enough natural gas to power the thermal generators coupled with a three-year shortage of rainfall preventing hydroelectric power stations from running at maximum output.

However by June, Djaha expects that the start of the rainy season should have boosted hydroelectric supply while the holiday season should ease demand. There are also plans to boost gas supplies by that time, he said.

In April 2008 a new gas-fired power station is to come on stream to bolster the country’s power supply.


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