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General News
VRA Losing $17m Per Month 8/16/2007
... Spends $42m Monthly
Akosombo, Aug. 15, GNA - Even though the Volta River Authority spends 42 million dollars a month in generating electricity from the dam, it recoups only 25 million dollars, Mr. Kwasi Brenu Amoako, Plant Manager of the Volta River Authority (VRA) said on Wednesday.
"The books of VRA does not look good, meaning 17 million out of the 42 million cannot be accounted for", he said.

Mr. Amoako was speaking at a visit to the Akosombo Dam site, organised by the Ghana Electrical Contractors Association GECA to interact with the authorities of the VRA on the current energy situation in the country.

"The new thermal plant at Tema does depend on crude oil running at 25 cents per unit, this shows that a second look should be taken on the seven cents of tariffs paid by Ghanaians and also Ghanaians do pay the lowest in the sub region, compared with countries like Togo 14 cents and Benin 15 cents," he stated.

Mr. Amoako said, "Currently the water level is rising at 0.1 foot as at today and we hope the rains will continue to rain in the northern region".

"But currently, Ghana is receiving 20 to 80 megawatts of power from Cote d''Ivoire and this can explain why we are experiencing the change in the power shedding", he added.

Mr Amoako said, the low water in-flow being experienced by the VRA could also be attributed to environmental degradation in the catchments area.

He said that the VRA would collaborate with the Forestry Commission and the District Assemblies to enact by-laws to protect the ecology along the banks of rivers feeding the Akosombo Dam.

Mr Amoako noted that, there were 70 District Assemblies in the catchments area of the Volta Lake and stated that some of them allowed sand winning and other environmentally unsound purposes, which affected the rainfall pattern and water inflow into the dam.

The first stage of the construction begun in 1961 when the Volta River project was established and work started on the Akosombo dam and power Station.

Four units with total installed capacity of 588 megawatts were completed in 1965, marking an important step for industrialization and economic growth of the newly independent sate of Ghana.

In 1976, Volta Aluminum Company VACOL became the main purchaser of power generation from Akosombo apart from ECCG and the mines. In 1972, the second stage of the project was completed with the addition of two generating units, with installed capacity of 324 MW to bring the total units capacity to 912 MW at a time.

Retrofits of the dam took place between October 1999 and March 2005; each generating unit was up rated to a maximum output of 170 MW. Total plant capacity is therefore 1020 MW.


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