The Business Year

John Abdulai Jinapor

GHANA - Energy & Mining

In the Works

Deputy Minister of Power, Ghana


John Abdulai Jinapor is the current Deputy Minister of Power, a position from which he oversees the development of policies and legislation in the power and renewable energy sector. He holds an MBA from the University of Ghana, a Bsc. Agriculture Technology from the University for Development Studies, Ghana, and a Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK. John Abdulai Jinapor has held a number of distinguished positions throughout his career, including Presidential Aide and Spokesperson to His Excellency, President John Dramani Mahama.

"In the short term, the government is considering a number of generation projects to help mitigate the shortfalls in power generation capacity."

Your Ministry was formed in a bid to help solve an electricity crisis that has been hampering economic growth for the last three years. What were the factors that led to the crisis and what are your priorities for dealing with it?

Ghana’s first major hydroelectric power plant on the Volta River, the Akosombo Hydroelectric Plant, was commissioned in 1965 with an installed generating capacity of 609MW that later increased to 1020MW after expansion works. In 1982, the second major hydroelectric power plant, the 160MW Kpong Hydroelectric Power Plant, was commissioned downstream from the Akosombo Dam. The third hydroelectric power plant was commissioned in 2013, with an installed capacity of 400MW at Bui in the Brong Ahafo Region on the Black Volta River. The country’s electricity needs have, over the years, largely been catered to by these hydroelectric dams until water levels began decreasing. The Akosombo, Kpong, and Bui Dams are now operating at 50% or less capacity. There is therefore a need to augment electricity production by looking at other sources of electricity such as thermal, solar, and coal. In the short term, the government is considering a number of generation projects to help mitigate the shortfalls in power generation capacity. These projects will commence operation in 2016 and include the 220MW Kpone Thermal Power Project (KTPP), the 110MW TICO Expansion Project in Takoradi, the first half of the 360MW Sunon Asogli Phase 2 Project, and the 38MW VRA TT2PP expansion project. Additionally, the other alternatives that the government has toward the same goal of mitigating generation capacity shortfalls and providing adequate redundancy or capacity reserve include fast-tracked energy projects such as the 225MW Powership in Tema, another 250MW emergency AMERI Project in Takoradi, and a 300MW GE Early Power Project in Tema. In the medium term, projects slated for delivery between 2016 and 2018 include the 360MW Asogli Phase 2 Project, 350MW CenPower Project, where ground has already been broken and civil works commenced, and parliamentary approval has been obtained for Government Consent and Support Agreements (GCSA) authorizing both a 360MW Jacobsen Power Project and the 240MW Amandi Project. The government is also considering adding 1,000MW of “clean” coal into the generation mix.

Gas has been highlighted as one of the key cornerstones powering Ghana’s industrial and economic growth. How is your Ministry prioritizing gas development in the country?

In order to address the erratic nature of gas supply from Nigeria through the West African Gas Pipeline, the government is currently considering fuel supply projects such as an emergency LNG project to be delivered at Tema by West African Gas Limited, which has already commenced, while another regular LNG project to be delivered by Quantum Power Ghana Gas Limited in the second quarter of 2016 is progressing steadily. The government has also agreed through the cabinet to make available the reverse flow of gas through the West Africa Gas Pipeline from Ghana National Gas Company in the Western Region to the Tema power enclave in the event of gas shortages from Nigeria.

Finance for the energy sector has been a problem in the past. How do you forecast the capital markets’ support of Ghana’s energy challenges?

In 2014, the government of Ghana signed a compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) under which the MCC will support the power sector in Ghana to provide adequate and reliable supply of power and also help ECG maintain a clean balance sheet. One area that the MCC prioritized was the restructuring of the Electricity Company of Ghana in order to bring in private participation to the electricity distribution sector. Its role is to look at what form private-sector participation (PSP) should take. It is its responsibility to strategize and find a solution to employ and strengthen strategy to employ the ECG’s finances. Its studies conducted thus far for the MCC recommended the implementation of either partial privatization or concessions. Under partial privatization, part of the shares of the government in ECG, not less than 51%, would be sold to a private entity, which would then manage and operate the ECG distribution system. Under the concession option, the operations of ECG would be handed over to a single concessionaire, which would control and operate the ECG network for a period of 20-30 years. At the end of the concession period, the operations would return to ECG. The assets would remain at all times during the concession period the bona-fide property of ECG.

What are the Ministry’s priorities for 2016?

The Ministry is vigorously pursuing the restructuring of some of the sector agencies to bring about a much-needed increase in efficiency. Under this, the Volta River Authority (VRA) is to be split into hydro and thermal entities. An advisory committee has been assembled by the Ministry, and given definitive aims and timelines to submit a report on the consultation processes. The Ministry will also implement the government’s decision to adopt the single concession option as the preferred option for private sector participation in the electricity distribution sector in line with the MCC Compact II, and will implement the six projects outlined under the compact. These six projects are the ECG Financial and Operational Turnaround Project, the NEDCo Financial and Operational Turnaround Project, the Access to Electricity Project, the Regulatory Strengthening Project, the Capacity Building Project, the Power Generation Sector Improvement Project, and the Demand Side Management and Energy Efficiency Project.



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