West Africa’s second biggest economy is struggling to meet high energy demands, forcing scheduled power cuts for large multinational companies in Ghana.

Due to a lack of natural gas and water reserves the Electricity Company of Ghana said they have no choice but to cut off power to large power users such as Unilever and Coca-cola to avoid a power crisis.

Bloomberg reported that factories will have no power for 48 hours followed by uninterrupted supply for six days, according to a statement on the Electricity Company’s website. These cuts will run into the New Year.

Melissa Verreynne, an economist at NKC Independent Economists Cape Town, South Africa said that ‘the power cuts are a matter of necessity…the negative impact on economic growth, productivity, in the manufacturing sector especially, will be notable’.

Investors have retracted any interests in Ghana due to increasing inflation and regular power outages, cutting the country’s growth forecast by 50% for 2015, Bloomberg reported.

Last month, President John Dramani Mahama established a Ministry of power to address the power crisis and devise the best solutions to bring the problems under control.

With extremely low water levels, operators have been forced to shut down two turbines at Ghana’s largest dam.

Factories facing power cuts:

  • Cement,
  • Fan Milk Ltd.,
  • SABMiller Plc’s Accra Brewery Ltd.

Stephen Doku, director of power at the Ministry of Energy told Bloomberg that ‘they are reducing supply to factories by 120 megawatts and by 300 megawatts to homes’.

Having faced a shortage of 600MW earlier this year, Energy minister Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah said they plan to contribute 770MW generation capacity to the grid by 2015.