President John Mahama on Thursday directed the Minister of Power to bring in additional emergency thermal power of 750 Mega Watts this year to alleviate the power supply shortfalls the country was experiencing.
The additional emergency thermal power, he said would enable the Akosombo hydro-dam, which is currently running on four out of its six turbines, to shut down one more unit to restore the low lake level.
Currently, the water level in the Akosombo Dam with a maximum generating capacity of 1,020 MW, is just five feet above the minimum operating level of 240 feet (558.9MW).
The water level in the dam would improve if the country experience adequate rainfall this year.
President Mahama, who visited the dam as part of his visit to power installations to ensure restoration of power signaled a shift from hydro electricity power as the nation’s main source of power supply.
“Increasingly, we need to make thermal our main source of power and then manage our hydro resources as supplementary or a back-up.
We must also conserve more of our hydro to give to businesses and to industries so that they can get lower power grid, and then on the residential side, we pay more and create more jobs in the country,” President Mahama stated.
The President appealed to the citizenry to conserve power by switching off lights, air-conditioners and other electrical gadgets at their offices after close of work.
President Mahama expressed satisfaction with the measures put in place by the Volta River Authority to preserve the lake and hoped that this year’s rains would be enough to improve the water level in the lake.
Mr William Sam Appiah, Director of Engineering Services, indicated that though the water level in the lake was low, the dam would be able to take the nation through the year and in the coming years.