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General News
Kufuor rallies nation 7/25/2007
...to be confident of overcoming energy crisis
Akosombo (E/R), July 24, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Tuesday rallied Ghanaians to be patient and remain confident that the nation''s current energy crisis would be resolved.
This comes as the water level of the Akosombo Hydro-electric dam begins to show signs of stabilising after a period of consistent drop. Over the last three days, there has not been any change to the water level and there are reports that tributaries of the Dam are rising, a development experts at the Hydro-Generation Department of the Volta River Authority (VRA) say, would lead to its rise by the end of the week.

The VRA is operating only two out of the Dam''s six turbines, as a result of the drop in the water level.

President Kufuor, addressing workers of the VRA after an inspection tour of the power generating facility, said the Government was making progress in its efforts at diversifying the country''s energy sources. He said it was, however, important to appreciate that building dams, thermal plants and everything electrical required some time. President Kufuor denounced attempts by sections of the society to play politics with the energy problem and advised personnel at the VRA not to allow "the pettiness and cynicism of this group of people" to affect their performance.

He told them that the country was relying on their efficiency and professionalism to overcome the energy challenges.

The President said VRA, run wholly by Ghanaian professionals, should see itself as strategic and crucial to the nation and re-affirmed the Government''s confidence in the Authority.

"You should know how important you are and must avoid politicisation and unionism. Let us all pull together."

Mr Kirk Koffi, Director of the Hydro-Generation Plant, said they could safely run the two turbines below the Dam''s minimum water operating level of 235 feet without danger to either the equipment or the dam.

He assured the nation that they have good instrumentation and monitoring systems and from time to time they also invited experts from outside to evaluate the stability of the dam.

He said the facility was being operated professionally and that no decision would be taken that was likely to endanger it. "We know what we are doing."

The VRA over the last 10 years has overhauled the Dam''s equipment at a cost of 126 million dollars.

Mr Koffi said although the Dam was 45 years old, the equipment they were operating were as new as only two years.

President Kufuor later inspected emergency power plants installed at Tema to complement electricity generated by the Akosombo Dam. The 38 sets of plants are to produce a total of 106 megawatts of electricity, while a Mining Reserve Power Plant by a consortium of Mining Companies is to provide additional 80 megawatts. VRA is also building a thermal plant to generate 126 megawatts.


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