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Energy Ministry lied about VRA torched pipelines-IES

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
ies_energy_ministry
Touched VRA pipelines

The Institute of Energy Security, IES, has accused the Energy Ministry of peddling falsehood about some torched pipelines of the Volta River Authority, VRA within the Tema enclave.

 Executive Director of the Institute for Energy Security (IES), Paa Kwasi Anamuah Sakyi in an interview with Citi FM said the information by the Energy Ministry is misleading.

Some persons believed to be saboteurs according to the Energy Ministry attempted to burn pipelines belonging to the Volta River Authority (VRA) on Sunday, April 7, 2019.

The VRA has confirmed that the lines supply fuel to the generating centre of the Authority at the Tema industrial area.

Reports say VRA’s own fire personnel first spotted flames billowing from the pipelines area Sunday afternoon.

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They realized that a suspected person had parked used car tyres on the pipelines and set them ablaze but they quickly extinguished the fire with the support of personnel from the Ghana National Fire Service.

Public Relations Officer for the Energy Ministry, Nana Damoah told Citi news that Police have begun investigating the incident to arrest the culprits.

“On Sunday April 7, some security men doing some regular checks along the pipelines that take one of the generating plants within the Tema enclave discovered that some persons had packed car tyres over some pipelines that were transmitting fuel to the generation plant and had torched these tyres, so the [pipelines] were burning,” Mr. Damoah said.

“This is a very sad development for all of us. It gets more confusing and it gets sadder that as we are facing challenges and working hard to get the people of Ghana out of the challenges that we are facing, there are some very determined persons who also wish that we will stay in the condition for a longer period. Investigations into this development have begun,” he added.

Reacting to the impression created by the Energy Ministry that the perpetrators of the act may be saboteurs of the government, IES boss said the pipelines do not belong to VRA but rather Cirrus Oil Servies and carried natural water.

"If you are calling for public sympathy, you need to come on a good foot, we all know the challnege is largely due to illiquidity of the sector meaning that the utility providers owe themselves when you look at how much VRA owes Ghana Gas is quiet huge as well as what ECG owes GRIDCo, they only need to have cashflow for them to be able to operate and maintain their system, so if somebody comes and say that because someone hacked down a tower or power transmission line and it does impact on the supply of electricy for a long period, we think that is quiet misleading because the power lines has reduncy meaning that when one power goes down it will take some hours for them to switch over to the next line but then it can't stay for an extended period and that is the reason why we are having dumsor, again we get a line vandalised that being the pipeline and the Ministry says that it's a VRA line carrying gas, we look at it and we realised that the line belongs to Cyrus oil services it's not tied to the VRA network in any way, we find the statement misleading coming from the Minister and the head of communications at the Ministry."

IES also in a statement added that "While we condemn these acts by faceless persons, the peddling of falsehood by the Minister of Energy and his cohorts following these incidents, only amount to causing fear and panic among the citizenry. Even though the IES believe that any form of sabotage to the country’s power installations must be condemned in no uncertain terms, the situation where political actors use it to cause fear and panic and possibly win the sympathy of Ghanaians unnecessarily; is equally bad in taste."

Here is the full statement issued by the IES

“The Institute for Energy Security (IES) was enraged when news got to it through the pronouncement of Nana Kofi Oppong Damoah, Head of Communication and Public Affairs at the Ministry of Energy; that some determined persons who wish Ghanaians stay in the recent power crisis for a longer period have torched a gas pipeline belonging to the Volta River Authority (VRA) at the Tema enclave.

By this news we quickly condemned the needless act and proceeded to visit the spot where the act is said to have taking place, only to find that the reported gas pipeline belong to Cirrus Oil Services Limited, and that it is parallel oil pipelines under construction, and filled with raw water.

The IES finds the posture of Mr. Damoah akin to that of the Minister in charge of the Energy Ministry Mr. Peter Amewu, who last sought to suggest political sabotage into the hacking down of GRIDCo’s Transmission tower in Tema, even before state security institutions could collect evidence and start investigation into the matter.

The IES is getting worried about the posture of Government represented by the Energy Ministry towards recent acts of vandalism on energy infrastructure.

While we condemn these acts by faceless persons, the peddling of falsehood by the Minister of Energy and his cohorts following these incidents, only amount to causing fear and panic among the citizenry. Even though the IES believe that any form of sabotage to the country’s power installations must be condemned in no uncertain terms, the situation where political actors use it to cause fear and panic, and possibly win the sympathy of Ghanaians unnecessarily; is equally bad in taste.

Dumsor by its own name is scary. “Dumsor is now a dreaded name in the country; synonymous with the subhuman “Dracula” who sucks human blood and spreads the undead curse along winding roads within the thick, dark and ancient forest and, over mountain passes”.

The Ministry of Energy must spare Ghanaians of “Wolf Cry”, and rather assure the nation of more sustainable measures put in place to curb the recurring and prolonged power outages caused largely by illiquidity in the sector; and not technical or sabotage by cause.”

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