The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has said that with the nation’s growing industrial interest, there is the need for the state to accelerate its efforts in adding nuclear energy to the national energy mix to guarantee reliable, cheap, predictable and accessible power to support economic growth.
Chief Executive Officer of the AGI, Seth Twum Akwaboah, told the B&FT in an interview that the country’s current energy capacity cannot support the strong industrialisation agenda of government and the AGI.
“Government, together with all of us have a strong industrialisation agenda. That is the reason why we are have the One District, One Factory (1D1F), the bauxite Sinohydro deal, industrial enclaves among others. In all this, power is key.
If we do not work hard, even the little market you have would be taken from you through competition. So it is critical and urgent to have an improved supply of energy which is cheaper and if nuclear can be the solution then it had to come on board like yesterday,” Mr. Akwaboa said.
He added that the coming into force of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) should heighten the country’s industrial drive as there is the potential to lose out to other markets on the continent because of the high cost of producing goods and offering services of which energy plays a pivotal role.
In his opinion, the sooner nuclear energy comes on board the better as there is a high chance that any investment made into it can be recouped through the economic activities that it would propel but he was quick to add that, safety and security should not be compromised.
“What I would not do is compromising on quality because you want it to come early, that one could be a disaster. As long as we go through the normal protocols, do all the scientific analysis, bring in the experts and then do the financial modelling, then we can go for it.
It should start immediately. It may have started in terms of discussions and we have had that before with the relevant stakeholders but I am not sure investments have started. So, we should start working on it immediately and we should ensure we get it right from the beginning and if we get it right we should move into it.”
Energy Supply breakdown
Data from the Energy Commission’s 2020 Energy Statistics reveal that, the total amount of energy supplied into the Ghanaian economy increased by 2.3 percent, from 10,800.3 Ktoe in 2018 to 11,052.8 Ktoe in 2019. Final energy consumption increased from 7,642.7 Ktoe in 2018 to 7,974.5 Ktoe in 2019 representing an annual increase of 4.3 percent.
The residential and industrial sectors consumed 41.8 percent and 13.0 percent of total final energy consumed in the country in 2019 respectively. From the data, residential users outweigh industrial users but some energy experts say the current state must switch and have industry dwarf residential users to stimulate economic growth.
GNPPO, NPG and GJA MOU
In a related development, the Ghana Nuclear Power Programme Organisation (GNPPO), Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG) and the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on public dissemination of information and activities of Ghana Nuclear Power Programme and Project.
The move is to ensure that accurate information is given to the public about the programme to carry the public along the nation’s nuclear agenda.
The President of the GJA, Affail Monney, assured that journalist would put in all the require efforts to ensure that the public is well informed on all the major steps government would take to achieve the nuclear energy goal. On the part of Executive Director NPG Dr. Stephen Yamoah, he also assured that their offices would be always opened to journalist who require support for their reportage.