Country Listing

Ghana Table of Contents


Electrical Power


Hydroelectric sluices in the Akosombo Dam
Courtesy Embassy of Ghana, Washington

In 1994 Ghana's total generating capacity was about 1,187 megawatts, and annual production totalled approximately 4,490 million kilowatts. The main source of supply is the Volta River Authority with six 127-megawatt turbines. The authority's power plant at Akosombo provides the bulk of all electricity consumed in Ghana, some 60 percent of which is purchased by Valco for its smelter. The power plant also meets most of the energy needs of Togo and Benin, which amounted to an estimated equivalent of 180,000 tons of oil in 1991. The balance of Ghana's electricity is produced by diesel units owned by the Electricity Corporation of Ghana, by mining companies, and by a 160-megawatt hydroelectric plant at Kpong, about 40 kilometers downstream from Akosombo. A third dam at Bui on the Black Volta River has been under study for some time, with the aim of increasing power supplies in northern Ghana or of selling power to Côte d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso (Burkina, formerly Upper Volta). There have been difficulties, however, in raising the funds needed for the 450-megawatt generating plant. Other sites with the potential for power generation, on the Pra River, the Tano River, the White Volta River, and the Ankobra River, would also require substantial investment.

Ghana has attempted to increase distribution of its electricity throughout the country. One program, funded by the World Bank's International Development Association, will provide reliable and widespread electricity in the urban and southern parts of the country. In addition, the extension of the national grid to the Northern Region was commissioned in 1989. The extension links northern Ghana to the power generated from the Akosombo Dam.

The second phase of the extension will connect major towns in Upper East Region with the regional capital, Bolgatanga, at a cost of US$100 million. The final phase will see exports of electricity across the northern border to Burkina. In early 1991, furthermore, the International Development Association announced a loan to the Electricity Corporation of Ghana to finance the supply and expansion of electricity networks in the northwestern areas of Accra. The corporation aims to extend the supply of electricity to all isolated centers where diesel is the main source of power.

Plans were also afoot to increase the supply of electricity by utilization of thermal energy. Construction was anticipated by late 1994 on the country's first thermal power generating plant near Takoradi. Scheduled for completion in 1997, the plant will contribute 300 megawatts of electricity to the national grid.

Ghana has a National Nuclear Research Institute which trains undergraduate and postgraduate students in the techniques of nuclear science application in such areas as agriculture, medicine, and research. In late 1994, work was nearing completion on a nuclear reactor at Kwabenyan, near Accra, to be used to aid research in these fields. In addition, a second nuclear physics center is to be established in Kumasi on the recommendation of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission.

Data as of November 1994