Friday, September 5, 2014

The New Africa-Nigeria



The New Africa-Nigeria
Until April 2014, the largest economy in the Continent of Africa was The Republic of South Africa (RSA). Then without any intentional planning, doing, or calculation, Nigeria with a population of about 150 million finds herself ahead of RSA with a population of about 44 million. One would ask how did that happened or what happened; considering the fact that, 20 years ago, you can NOT mention Nigeria in the same breath with RSA when you are talking economy.
Do not get me wrong, there is no politics without corruption anywhere in the universe. Even in the USA, we once had Mr. Cold Cash, and Africa is no different, but Mr. Jacob Zuma seems to be haunted by more corruption allegations than corruption itself.
This blog is about energy (electricity to be exact) so lets get back to the topic. Nigeria is a county awash in oil, but where electricity generating and it supply or distribution (no pun intended) is concern, Nigeria so reliable (no pun intended) that 9 out of 10 homes or businesses have their own generator or generators. You can generate all the power in the world, but if you can NOT get it to where it is needed, you have nothing; and Nigeria seems to be failing at both.
Now, Nigeria is banking on getting power from The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for her own use and exporting some to other unfortunate West African neighbors. The source of this not yet available electric power is the Grand Inga (and I wrote a little bit about this in 2008). Things still have not changed since I wrote the last piece back in 2008. The DRC is still under producing with the smaller Inga 1 and 2. If you canNOT  take care of a baby or a little child, how do you plan on taking care of an adult.

Is Nigeria trying to buy a ‘pig in the poke’ or counting somebody’s ‘chicken before they are hatched’?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Dumsor (Blackout) is back in Ghana



It is with sad heart that I am bring this bad news to my followers.
Ghana is back to “dumsor”. That is the Ghanaian term for load-shedding. Sadly this is happening without notice. Just found out on a TV program “Tarzan’s Take” that there is a law on the books that none of the major cities namely Accra, Kumasi, Tema, Sekondi-Takoradi is to see more than 48 hours of blackout “dumsor” in any one year period. Speaking for myself in the suburb of Accra (New Achimota) March 09, 2014 to March 16, 2014; I had “dumsor” every blessed day. Monday March 10, 2014, I had “dumsor” for 10.5 hours. There was one other day that I had more than 8 hours.
Now that I am aware of this 48 hour law, I will start keeping tabs on the “dumsor”, that is the frequency and the duration.
I thought when I spoke to the information officer at the Energy Ministry, the data provided is something I can take to the bank, I was living in a fools dreams. It looks like the demand is 1985 megawatts per day, while the production is 1650 Megawatts. Folks, that is a deficit of 335 Megawatts. You cannot squeeze water from a rock, neither can you get blood out of a cabbage.
This country is NOT ready for foreign investors. It is bad when you have to pay to get what is not supposed to be paid for (bribery). But this electricity thing is something else.
It looks like the hippos are back in this environment with a vengeance

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Electricity in Ghana




Electricity in Ghana
Hello everybody and thank you for following my blog.
The last time I wrote, it was about the then amount of power being produced in Ghana. I am happy to say on this update that “Bui” generator number 3 is up and running. The hydro-dam at Bui ( which is skirting the Brong Ahafo Region and the Northern Region in Ghana was commissioned today (Dec. 19, 2013), and key for the operation was publicly turned over to the CEO of the Bui Power Authority by the chief engineer of the Chinese construction company, with a fanfare amidst some traditional drumming and dances.

So it is a fact, Ghana is generating more power than she is consuming. The kudos for this project, goes to the former President John Agyekum Kuffuor. I have to confess that I was one of those who criticized this project at the time it was announced about six years ago. My reasoning  for the criticism was a fact and still has NOT changed, but the end has justified the means. The landscape has changed, animals have lost their habitat, humanoids have lost their ancestral homes and burial grounds. But, after it is all said and done, Ghana is now producing about 650 MW of excess electricity.

Kudos as I said, goes to the former President Mr.J. A. Kuffuor who had to wear thick skin to take the criticism and insults (from people like me), and the Government of China that gave the major funding and the technical expertise. The cheetahs are running wild today in this environment.

Before I forget, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG which is government owned) raised the tariff by more than 75%, which was effective October 01, 2013. Can’t win them all!!!!

Electricity in Ghana




Electricity in Ghana
Hello everybody and thank you for following my blog.
The last time I wrote, it was about the then amount of power being produced in Ghana. I am happy to say on this update that “Bui” generator number 3 is up and running. The hydro-dam at Bui ( which is skirting the Brong Ahafo Region and the Northern Region in Ghana was commissioned today (Dec. 19, 2013), and key for the operation was publicly turned over to the CEO of the Bui Power Authority by the chief engineer of the Chinese construction company, with a fanfare amidst some traditional drumming and dances.

So it is a fact, Ghana is generating more power than she is consuming. The kudos for this project, goes to the former President John Agyekum Kuffuor. I have to confess that I was one of those who criticized this project at the time it was announced about six years ago. My reasoning  for the criticism was a fact and still has NOT changed, but the end has justified the means. The landscape has changed, animals have lost their habitat, humanoids have lost their ancestral homes and burial grounds. But, after it is all said and done, Ghana is now producing about 650 MW of excess electricity.

Kudos as I said, goes to the former President Mr.J. A. Kuffuor who had to wear thick skin to take the criticism and insults (from people like me), and the Government of China that gave the major funding and the technical expertise. The cheetahs are running wild today in this environment.

Before I forget, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG which is government owned) raised the tariff by more than 75%, which was effective October 01, 2013. Can’t win them all!!!!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Electricity in Ghana, July 2013




Electricity in Ghana, July 2013
Well, since I am still in Ghana and the information is readily available from the authorities, I might as well take advantage of the situation.
I had a face-to-face meeting with the most senior information officer at the Ministry of Energy, and here is what I was provided. I am putting it this way because, what is being generated and the demand, do NOT balance out.
There is currently a hydro dam under construction with three turbine generators, one came on-board in June 2013 (delivering 133MW), and another is suppose to come on-board July 2013 (delivering 133MW), with the last one coming on-board in September 2013 (to deliver 133MW). As of this writing, July 28, 2013; the July 2013 unit has not come on-board.
Anyway, with the one unit in June2013, the Grand Total being generated from hydro, thermal, and solar sources amount to a little more than 2478 Megawatts. And the daily demand as I was told is 1850MW, with 50MW of this figure going as export to Togo and Benin. If this is so, there should not be a blackout (and the authorities are calling it load shedding) of any kind because there is a net power output of more than 628MW on any given day. But there is blackout (or “dumso” in the local lingo) through July 2013.
If you are planning on doing any business in Ghana, and you think you will need electricity around the clock, my best advice is to have a Standby generator.
My personal observation and conclusion is that, there seem to be a little more of the cheetahs running around in Ghana than the Hippos, but still, there are hippos in this environment.