Unusually dry weather has resulted in low inflows into Ghana’s major hydro developments on the Volta River. According to the Volta River Authority (VRA) the inflow this year has been significantly below the long-term average.

The present level is so low that the VRA will be able to generate only 3800GWh from Akosombo and Kpong generating stations this year, while the country’s requirement is over 8000GWh.

To cope with the crisis the VRA has imposed load shedding in 12-hour shifts since December. Supplies to all mining companies, the Aluworks Aluminium factory and VALCO, Kaiser Aluminium’s giant smelter in Takordi, have been reduced. The Takordi plant is a joint venture of US firm General Electric and Italy’s Cimi Nuova Montubi.

Two new 100MW thermal generating units are coming on stream and will ease the situation. They are both at the Takordi plant In the future a second 300MW Takordi plant and a 400MW hydroelectric plant at Bui are on the cards but would take the IPP route.