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Energy Minister demands maintenance schedules of IPPs

BY: Dotsey Koblah Aklorbortu, SEKONIDI-TAKORADI
Energy Minister Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh in the meeting with the IPPs where he asked them to publicise maintenance schedules
Energy Minister Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh in the meeting with the IPPs where he asked them to publicise maintenance schedules

The Minster for Energy, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh has stressed the need to bridge the information gap between upstream Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and clusters of consumers in the country.

He said the provision of timely information on planned maintenance schedules by the IPPs would enable consumers plan ahead reduce any disruptions of their social and economic activities.

The request
The minster made the call when he summoned a meeting of the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) at his office and requested the maintenance schedules for their power plants.

He said there is no doubt IPPs play a critical role in ensuring that power consumers have a constant supply of power nationwide.

He said however that to ensure transparent operations for the people of Ghana, “there is the need for the public to have some level of understanding of their operations.”

He reminded the IPPs that the primary objective of a planned maintenance is to maximize equipment performance by keeping equipment running safely for as long as possible without that equipment deteriorating or having unplanned outages.

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Energy Minister Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh in the meeting with the IPPs where he asked them to publicise maintenance schedules

Adequate and timely information
These schedules, he said, would help in providing adequate and timely information to the public, should these planned mandatory maintenances affect power supply.

Dr Prempeh assured the public they would in due course be updated on which plants would be in maintenance – how and when the plants are scheduled to be maintained and any effects as a result of these essential works and for how long.

The Chief Executive of Officer of the Chamber of Independent Power Producers, Mr Elikplim K. Apetorgbor told the Daily Graphic it is a welcoming call from the minister, which the IPPs would comply with.

Efficiency and reliability
He said in the industry, maintenance is central to operations to make the plants efficient and reliable for delivering on demand. “We in the industry, we don’t overlook what would undermine our efficiency and reliability – hence regular, planned maintenance.”

“When it is time to do our maintenance, we do it and do it completely to guarantee availability and with our schedule made known to the ministry, we can all plan and know when to communicate to the public”, he said.

The move by the sector minister, he said, gave a clear signal for the industry “that we need to form synergies, having all key stakeholders on the same page to make planning more effective.”

The challenge
He said one of the challenges the system has is that some of the generators are obsolete and sometimes one has to shut down because continuous operation could cause a major problem.

He said altogether the IPPs account for installed capacity of 2,780MW of which 2,558MW is available to support the national generation capacity of more than 5,650MW.