President John Dramani Mahama on Monday said government’s determination to produce 5,000 megawatts of energy was not only achievable, but was also on course to make Ghana a net exporter of the commodity.
He said while 133 megawatts from the three Thermal Plants in Takoradi had already been released into the national pool, an additional 133 megawatts would also be released in the next three weeks from the Bui hydro dam.
President Mahama said this when he broke the grounds for the expansion of the Aboadze Thermal Plant to be executed within 27 months to produce 110 megawatts of power.
The additional 110 megawatts is a collaboration between the government of Ghana through the Takoradi International Company, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) and other technical and financial stakeholders.
The $330 million project is supported by the International Finance Company, African Development Bank and Oil Production Companies among other major stakeholders.
President Mahama said the elimination of the load-shedding during off peak hours was to give ample opportunities to businesses such as welders, barbers and other smaller commercial entities to work and generate more jobs for others.
He said apart from the Aboadze, Bui and Navrongo solar power plants being expanded, government would also find alternative energy generation that would in future throw the current national load-shedding into the dustbin of history.
“Ghana will develop an energy economy that will empower the country to generate more energy for domestic consumption and also become a net exporter of the commodity.” He added.
On the Atuabo National Gas Project, also in the western Region, President Mahama said plans were far advanced to complete the project, which would depend on the Jubilee field to produce gas and help in fertilizer production for domestic use and export.
Mr Kalim Al Gaith, Assistant Foreign Affairs Minister from the United Arab Emirates said energy production was the core business of TAQA and they would consolidate their relations with African and Asian countries to ensure that the commodity was abundantly produced.
He commended all the partners and gave the assurance that their outfit would continue to liaise with other partners to achieve ultimate energy production in partner countries.
Mr Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, Minister of Energy gave the assurance that the load-shedding would soon become a thing of the past as conscious efforts are being made to eliminate it in the next few weeks to come.
He said Government was putting in place medium and long term measures that would sustain power production and distribution to avoid the recurrence of what he described as ‘dum-so, dumso’.