NDC outlines energy plans in 2012 manifesto

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) seeks to increase installed power generation capacity from 2,443 megawatts in 2012 to 5,000 megawatts by 2016.

The party has pledged to complete all processes and accelerate the commencement of the second Millennium Compact (MCC) for Ghana, with focus on energy generation, distribution and the aggressive support for private energy generation.

These are contained in the NDC manifesto for Election 2012 captured: “Advancing Better Ghana Agenda,” copied to the Ghana News Agency, in Accra on Thursday.

It indicated that a next NDC government would position Ghana’s energy development as a major producer and net exporter of power to its neighbouring countries while satisfying local industrial and domestic demands.

The party seeks to enhance the speedy and efficient completion of the Gas Infrastructure Project, including the provision of a Liquefied Natural Gas degasification plant, to augment gas supply to provide reliable and cheaper fuel for energy generation.

The next NDC Government would pursue the transmission and distribution networks through continuous expansion and modernisation of existing facilities to ensure effective national and sub-regional inter-connectivity.

The NDC seeks to use oil and gas development as a catalyst to diversify the economy in addition to the provision of security for oil and gas installations and operations.

The party said if retained in power in December, it would strengthen the agencies in charge of the regulation of all activities related to all segments of the petroleum industry.

The manifesto said an NDC government would collaborate with partners to remove all obstacles that have hindered the smooth implementation of the West African Gas Pipeline Project , make the Tema Oil Refinery technically and financially efficient and expand its capacity.

It also plans to increase the national strategic petroleum reserves, and expand the pipeline infrastructure for the transportation of petroleum products.

According to the NDC manifesto, the party would enact the required Legislative Instruments for the smooth implementation of the Renewable Energy law.

It further targets the development of the country’s potential mini hydro power projects with capacities below 100 megawatts, establishment of dedicated woodlots for fuel wood production and promotion of the use of improved technologies for more efficient biomass utilization.

The NDC said it would adopt all embracing  “Waste to Energy,” strategy to convert  organic, industrial and agricultural waste into power.

The manifesto said an NDC-led government would continue to encourage local participation in the exploration, development and production of oil and gas, and spin-off economic activities, and increase linkages and funding for technical training and scientific research and development of the oil and gas industry.

THe GNA also noticed that the NDC in its Election 2012 manifesto highlights its major achievements in oil and electricity for the past three years.

According to the NDC over the past three years, it has established the Ghana National Gas Company to ensure the sustainable development of the Gas industry and infrastructure.

The Tema Oil Refinery debt which incapacitated the company and threatened the operation of Ghana Commercial Bank has been substantially paid off and is being sustainably managed, according to the manifesto.

The NDC has supported Volta River Authority, Northern Electricity Distribution Company , Ghana Grid Company and Electricity Company of Ghana  to undertake restructuring required to restore their finances.

In reminiscence to 2011, the NDC said Ghana has earned $444,124,724 from the sale of four liftings, totaling 3,930,189 barrels of crude oil.

On electricity, a 376 megawatt generation capacity was added to the base capacity in 2011, and an additional 258 megawatt is to be added by the end of 2012 to bring the total national capacity to 2,443.5 megawatts, an increase of 35 per cent since 2008.

The NDC also claimed that access to electricity has been increased from 54 per cent in 2008 to 72 per cent in 2011, about 1,700 communities have been connected to the national electricity grid since 2008, with a larger proportion of this increase representing poorer households that would otherwise not have access to energy.

The NDC seeks to use its achievement and its projections for 2013 to attract voters.

Meanwhile, a National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) survey on “Election 2012: matters of concern to the Ghanaian voter”, reveals that 489 responses received, the highest proportion of 289 (59.1 per cent) responses said power outages should stop.

A copy of the survey report, made available to the GNA, indicate that Ghanaians abhor the frequent power outrages, which they said was destroying electrical gadgets and also rendering some newly established industries dormant.

They also wanted the government to extend electricity to the rural area, whilst another 143 (29.3 per cent) responses wanted government to have more subsidies on energy, other responses 27 (5.5 per cent) said that there should be uninterrupted gas supply for Ghanaians.

According to the NCCE survey, 17 (3.5 per cent) respondents agreed that oil and gas proceeds should be used to finance the economy, but, 11(2.2 per cent) wanted government to create jobs in the oil and gas sector for the youth.

Respondents mentioned that the rate at which expatriates were infiltrating  the oil industry to compete with Ghanaians for jobs  was quite alarming.

The survey said an insignificant number of respondents, 2 (0.4 per cent), said the youth should be trained to take up jobs in the oil and gas sector.

Source: GNA

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