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The one-year record of Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh as head of the Ministry of Energy

Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh’s name has become synonymous with good performance and success wherever he has served since the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo administration took office in 2017.

He was appointed Minister of Education during the administration’s first term and the records of his stewardship of education in Ghana will continue to live on in the minds of the current generation.

President Akufo-Addo, after winning the 2020 presidential election, decided to appoint Dr Prempeh who is also an MP for Manhyia South in the Ashanti Region as Minister of Energy and this decision came to fruition. very good, first for the current administration and then for the nation.

The doctor, allergic to failure, has placed the energy sector on such a pedestal that it will undoubtedly experience the growth needed to foster Ghana’s development.

The minister, together with the heads of the various agencies falling under the energy sector, set a few key targets for the period 2021 to 2024 and started working on them one by one.

Goals include stable, realistic and universally accessible electricity, availability of fuel and realistic pricing of petroleum products, increasing crude oil reserves to improve revenues, local content and local participation in the electricity sector. energy and Ghana’s energy transition.

With the game plan unambiguous, the Minister got to work and increased Ghana’s total installed power capacity. In 2020 it was 5,018 megawatts but increased to 5,231 megawatts in 2021.

New additions of Bridge Power generating 150 megawatts, Bui Solar generating 50 megawatts and Volta River Authority (VRA) Kaleo Solar generating 13 megawatts were made under the supervision of Dr. Prempeh.

To increase the availability of power generation and achieve price competitiveness, the Department of Energy renegotiated all Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and moved from a capacity-based PPA to l purchase of energy when purchasing electricity.

In order for electricity to be transmitted very well, the quality of electricity has been greatly improved in 2021 by introducing more Bulk Power Points (BSPs), such as Kasoa and Pokuase, to improve power quality electric.

Improving technical losses was also a major concern of the Minister of Energy, which led him to take swift action to modernize power lines which became known as the “Dum Sie Sie” program to reduce losses and increase transmission capacity.

Power stability in the middle belt of Ghana was so crucial to Dr. Prempeh that the Ameri plant was moved to Kumasi to ensure grid stability for people in those areas.

Electricity distribution losses are being dealt with and in 2021 the Minister devised various strategies to deal with the ugly situation.

To improve revenue collection from electricity users beyond the 50% average for the two distribution companies, Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo), the Ministry of Energy introduced private sector participation to address commercial losses in electricity distribution. sector.

The ministry and indeed the government have also pledged through the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) to improve electricity transmission and distribution.

In addition to this there was Boundaries Metering for nine ECG operational regions to help reduce business losses.

To increase the upstream oil reserves, Dr Prempeh oversaw full payment by the government to the Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) partners for the cost of the Takoradi-Tema interconnection project and with this Ghana will benefit from savings on the gas prices by at least $70 million a year.

In the context of upstream oil activities, the Ministry of Energy supervised in 2021 preparatory studies for the drilling of a well in the Voltarian basin, the unification of the Afena and Sankofa fields to reduce development costs and improve, in addition to the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), acquisition of 7% each of Anadarko’s stake in Jubilee and TEN Field.

In addition to this, Dr. Prempeh was deeply involved in the discovery of oil by Eni in the Eban-1X well, as well as in the tendering of new blocks to increase oil and gas reserves, negotiations on the acquisition of AKER Field and the drilling of seven wells by Tullow Oil. .

2021 has seen a lot of activity in downstream oil development, with the implementation of the cylinder recirculation model program to improve safety and increase access to clean gas, as well as the aggressive strategy of the National Petroleum Authority ( NPA) to reduce fuel smuggling and spillage.

Under the leadership of Dr. Prempeh, there are well-orchestrated plans to develop and improve the gas infrastructure in the country and also to increase the availability of petroleum products.

At the top of Dr. Prempeh’s agenda was the NPA’s regulation of natural gas condensate fuel, the integration of natural gas operations across the value chain to increase efficiency, increase the use of gas in the country and increase downstream investments.

There is a strategic gas commercialization plan under which the Tema LNG project, a strategic project aimed at diversifying and enhancing the security of the country’s gas supply, is expected to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2022. The terminal will have the capacity to receive, regasify and deliver up to 400 mmscfd. Negotiations have started with N-Gas, the gas supplier of the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP), as part of the government’s efforts to renegotiate existing gas agreements to ease the Take or Pay burden.

To rationalize electricity tariffs, the Ministry of Energy is working with the Public Utilities Regulation (PURC) to rationalize electricity tariffs to achieve equity for all categories of consumers, in addition to move from a capacity-based PPA to purchasing power when purchasing electricity.

The Minister’s commitment to local participation in the petroleum industry is clear, as he oversees the Energy Commission in establishing Legislative Instruments (LI) to increase participation in the energy industry. LI 1835 will be for the electricity sector, while LI 2204 will cover upstream petroleum.
The development of renewable and nuclear energy is dear to the heart of Dr. Prempeh, so in 2021 there have been various steps to strengthen this area with the collection and evaluation of data to select a preferred site for the development of nuclear power plant with evaluation of the expression of interest is in progress to select a supplier country for the development of a nuclear power plant.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has become involved in Ghana’s nuclear program and pledged technical support.

In 2021, the National Energy Transition Committee was tasked with drafting a transition plan for Ghana by the end of the first quarter of this year.

Construction of three mini-grids on Azizakpe, Aflive and Alorkpem islands in the Ada East district of the Greater Accra region has started as part of efforts to electrify 50 island communities and hard-to-reach areas with energy technologies. renewable energy, while the Scaling Up Renewable Energy Program (SREP) is being expanded to include priority projects, such as solar street lights and off-grid solar power projects for isolated communities .

There is no denying that Dr. Prempeh has had a smooth take off in 2021 and with various strategies put in place, Ghana’s energy sector is sure to flourish under his leadership.