By Maxwell Obiri-Yeboah .
The Minister for Energy, Mr. John Peter Amewu, has attributed the recent power outages to technical challenges which are as a result of the upgrading of some transformers at certain parts in the country.
This, he said, is necessary, because technicians have to attend to and upgrade certain plants at various centers, for the fact that some machinery have to undergo some maintenance processes to keep working effectively.
He made this known at a press conference organised by his Ministry yesterday, here in Accra, to update the nation on the work done by the Ministry of Energy, after he had inherited what he called a “devastated energy sector” and the way forward in managing the power sector.
The meeting brought together several top officials from the two main zones in the Energy Ministry namely, the power and petroleum sectors. Among those present included top officials from the Ghana Oil Company Limited, Ghana National Petroleum Council, and Bulk Oil Storage Transport (BOST), among others.
The Minister also said the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has commenced “reconnaissance activities” in the onshore Voltaian Basin (which experts has been predicted to be the country’s largest unexplored basin) to “determine its prospectivity, in line with [the] government’s policy objective,” he said.
“Currently, the GNPC is conducting geochemical analysis and will soon start a two dimensional seismic survey over the northern and southern sectors of the basin. Successful results of this survey will pave way for the exploration and drilling activities,” he reiterated.
The Chief Executive Officer of Bulk Oil Storage Transportation (BOST), Mr. George Mensah Okley, who was at the venue, also disclosed that BOST will soon see a facelift in its operations this year.
According to him, after alleged incidents of corrupt practices, which led to its former boss, Mr. Alfred Obeng Boateng, whose tenure was plagued by high-profile scandals, being dismissed, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and the Minister of Energy, Mr. John Peter Amewu, mounted two major investigative units to look into the matter.
According to him, after the investigations were completed and reports submitted to the authorities, they reviewed the report, as well as the recommendations, and “currently, they are being implemented at various stages” after several meetings were held between the investigative bodies, as well as BOST officials.
Mr. Okley, who did not give much detail into BOST’s current status, however, said that findings that came from the various committees had been implemented in various sections and currently, “BOST has started implementing the recommendations of the committee.”
He went on that due to the crucial role BOST plays in the Energy Ministry, and Ghana as a whole, one of the recommendations was that there should be a refinancing of BOST to place it in a better financial state.
Currently, an “amount of $60 million has been disbursed to refinance BOST, which came through GNPC’s balance sheet, and that is a refinancing support,” he said.
He, however, admitted that the financial transactions at BOST are “very serious, which included transactions that are being investigated today for possible prosecutions.”