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Support energy sector - Minister charges World Bank

BY: Dotsey Koblah Aklorbortu
Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh — Minister of Energy
Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh — Minister of Energy

The Minister of Energy, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, has urged the World Bank to continue its support for the country’s energy sector since it plays a significant role in that area as a development partner.

At a virtual meeting, the minster observed that, for instance, the prices of gas were too high and that they needed  to be addressed, if the country was to make progress in its industrialisation agenda, of which energy played a major role.

The meeting touched on many areas including the activities of the Ghana Energy Sector Transformation Initiative Project (GESTIP), support for the Ministry of Energy as well as challenges pertaining specifically to the gas and power sectors.

The Country Representative for Ghana, Mr David Vilar, led the World Bank team at the virtual appraisal meeting.

Dr Prempeh noted that the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) inability to account for 31 per cent of the power it received was a matter of concern.

He said it would become necessary at some point to introduce reforms, alongside renegotiating with Public Utility Regulatory Commission’s (PURC) for utility tariffs.

GESTIP project

The development objective of the GESTIP for the country is to strengthen the capacity of the energy sector to implement sector reforms, and improve energy sector planning and coordination in Ghana.

The GESTIP project has five components, which include management of energy sector financial flows; sector planning and coordination; energy access; natural gas; and project management.

The management of energy sector financial flows component will assist in addressing the financial viability of the energy sector by improving revenue management at the sector level.

Enhance planning

The other component, sector planning and coordination, is aimed at enhancing planning and coordination across the energy sector. It is expected to assist government to design effective institutional arrangements with clear mandates for the regulatory institutions in the energy sector.

It would also see to the conduct of technical studies on the sector including electricity sector assessment and a gas sector assessment.

The energy access of the component has three activities, which will be conducting feasibility and investment planning studies for grid extension and off-grid electrification to reach the government’s goal for universal electrification by 2030.