The government of Ghana is to increase industrial electricity tariffs by $0.01/kWh to $0.032/kWh with immediate effect, the Ghana Public Utilities Regulatory Commission has announced.

A further price rise will be introduced on 1 September and a tariff rise of 100 per cent for domestic consumers is planned, Reuters reports.

The rises are part of a policy of gradual tariff increases over a three year period to bring the price of electricity in line with the cost of production and transmission. Most of Ghana’s power comes from the 912 MW Akosombo hydropower plant. A 30 per cent fall in generation at Akosombo as a result of low water levels has caused recent power outages.

The Volta River Authority, the national electricity company, claims that its generation and distribution costs are around $0.06/kWh. Current generation costs for hydropower are put at $0.044/kWh and power from the country’s new gas fired power plant at Takoradi costs $0.055/kWh.

In a separate move, the US company CMS Energy has reached an agreement with the government of Ghana to acquire a 50 per cent stake the Takoradi thermal plant. The company will become a partner with the Volta River Authority, the national electricity utility, in Takoradi Power Co. which will own and operate the generating facility.

The joint venture will expand the 330 MW Takoradi plant, still under construction, with a second 330 MW gas fired generating facility.