Ghana Says Doubling Power Fees Only Way to End Crippling Cuts

  • Electricity company needs $10 billion in revenue through 2017
  • Extra revenue will pay for construction of plants, power ships

Ghana’s state power distributor said it needs to more than double electricity fees to eliminate blackouts that are crippling the economy.

The Electricity Co. of Ghana will ask regulators to raise prices by 115 percent to 35.5 pesewas (9 cents) per unit, the Accra-based company said in a statement in The Ghanaian Times on Friday. The company needs about 38 billion cedis ($10 billion) through 2017 to increase power production capacity.

“ECG is aware and regrets the challenges its customers are experiencing as the power crisis continues,” the company said. “We wish to appeal to all customers to support this proposal and move to bring power back to the national grid and curtail the increasing costs of expensive alternative sources of supply that customers are exploring.”

Ghana’s economy is on pace to expand at the slowest pace in more than 20 years, curbing investor confidence in the world’s second-largest producer of cocoa. Power cuts to the capital last about 24 hours a day and are followed by 12 hours of electricity. The currency has dropped 16 percent this year against the dollar, fueling inflation and forcing the central bank to raise borrowing costs to the highest in Africa.

ECG estimates its total revenue requirement for 2015 to be 9 billion cedis. That will increase to 13.1 billion cedis next year and 15.7 billion cedis in 2017.

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