Energy policy think tank Africa Centre from Energy Policy (ACEP) is worried the Akosombo dam might soon collapse, sounding alarm bells about the state of the leading hydro power plant in the country.
The Akosombo Hydroelectric Power Plant has been struggling for some time now to produce at optimal capacity due to the level of water in the Akosombo lake.
According to data available on the Volta River Authority (VRA) website, the hydro plant is currently producing power despite operating below the minimum operating level.
The water level in the lake on April 14, 2016 stood at 238.22 feet or 72.609 meters while the minimum operating level is 73.15m or 240ft.
“It is not sustainable and we will destroy the dam”, the head of policy unit at the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) Ishmael Ackah has charged.
Despite making significant progress in solving the close to four year power crisis that rocked the country, Ghana has encountered setbacks.
A two week scheduled maintenance work on the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah has now been extended to five weeks, leading to curtailment in gas supply to the Ghana National Gas company, ultimately affecting power generation.
The VRA thermal plants and AMERI power plant in the Western region that rely on the gas from the FPSO have all suspended operations due to the challenges.
“What we are doing to solve it (the power challenge) is a very bad thing; we are over drafting the Akosombo dam”, Ishmael Ackah stated.
Meanwhile the power ministry has denied the accusation by the energy policy think tank, Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP).
“Let me state that we are not over drafting hydro, technically I’m informed by engineers that you can’t run less than three turbines at Akosombo and this is a technical issue. More over the Akosombo dam does not run only on three turbines and so even if you run three turbines it doesn’t mean you are running all the turbines,” deputy power minister John Jinapor stated.
According to him government will ensure the integrity of the dam is protected.
“We shall make efficient use of the dam without compromising quality”.