The Ghanaian government has reached an agreement with the United States energy giants, General Electricals worth $1 billion for the supply of energy to the country. Ghana is currently in energy crisis despite becoming an oil and gas producing country since 2010 Cameroon Concord has learnt. The country is set to lose some $700 million oil revenue this year as a result of the falling price of crude on the world market. Ghana makes an average of $1.2 billion annually from crude oil production but the fallen price of the commodity on the world market has brought the expected revenue down to $500 million.
The American multinational conglomerate corporation is expected to generate some 1000 megawatt of energy for Ghana with a gas powered thermal plant. The project is expected to be completed over the next three years. The first phase of the agreement will add 300 megawatts of electricity to the existing national grid by 2016 while the remaining 700 megawatts will be added in early 2018. At the signing ceremony in Accra on Wednesday, Ghana’s President, John Dramani Mahama said the project when completed will make Ghana the most efficient producer and distributor of energy in Africa.
“Even though we call it Ghana 1000, the power will be a bit above 1000, this will be the single largest injection of power into our transmission grid in history, it will be bigger than total power from the Akosombo hydro-electric power plant”, he said. The Akosombo hydro electric dam was built by Ghana’s first President, Kwame Nkrumah in 1964 but successive Ghanaian governments have failed woefully to build upon it, culminating in the current energy crisis in the country.
In the capital Accra, residents enjoy electricity for 12 hours each day but in the second largest city of Kumasi, residents barely have electricity up to 6 hours a day. Energy experts have criticized the government for failing to deal with the energy situation and many political commentators say the energy crisis would be a crucial determinant if Ghanaians will or not retain the government in next year’s elections. Ghana will vote in general elections in December 2016.