Ghana is to double its energy capacity to about 4,000 megawatts within the next five years as part of the Government's vision to speed up the country's industrialization, President John Agyekum Kufuor, has announced.The present generation mix of about 1,300 megawatts would go up by an additional 1,000 megawatts by the close of the year.President Kufuor, who dropped the hint during a courtesy call on him at the Castle, Osu, by the National Executive Council of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) on Wednesday said the new generation system would not be dependent on the weather.
The AGI Executive Council members were there to share their views with the President on ways of enhancing the country's manufacturing sector.President Kufuor gave the assurance that the current energy crisis that has resulted in load shedding would be over in the next two to three months.He said realizing that without affordable, reliable and efficient energy supply system, there could not be effective industrialization, the Government, since its inception in 2001 made energy a priority agenda.
He said, it was for this reason that it raised 40 million dollars as Ghana's equity in the West African Gas Pipeline Project, which should have come on stream last December but for the problems in the Niger Delta region.The contractors on the project were now on course to deliver the gas to the shores of Ghana by May, this year.President Kufuor said alongside this project, the Government has concluded arrangement with some companies to build Thermal Plants and was also on the verge of signing an agreement with China to begin the construction of the Bui Hydro-electric dam.The Ministers of Finance and Economic Planning, Energy and the Attorney General are presently in China for this.
President Kufuor told the AGI National Executive Council members that the Government was doing everything within the ECOWAS to help to remove impediments to free trade within the sub-region. "This is a friendly Government. Your success reflects well on the success of the Government."Mr Tony Oteng Gyasi, President of the Association, said the right policies and incentives put in place by the Government have put the manufacturing sector on the path of growth.
He said they would however, want to see the strengthening of the regulatory and inspection agencies like the Ghana Standards Board (GSB), Food and Drugs Board (FDB) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) so that they would apply equal checks and scrutiny on imported goods as they do to the made-in-Ghana goods."They should be strengthened to be effective to give us a level playing field." 07 Feb. 2007