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GRIDCo, ECG announce 3-week power supply interruptions

 The Ghana Grid Company (GRID­Co) and the Elec­tricity Company of Ghana (ECG) have announced a three-week interruption in power supply due to a reduction in gas supply from Nigeria since last Wednesday.

“The West Africa Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo) in a statement explained that the reduction in gas supply was due to maintenance works being undertaken by a gas supplier in Nigeria and is projected to last three weeks,” a joint state­ment issued by the GRIDCo and ECG issued in Accra said.

The maintenance has caused a reduction in overall power genera­tion capacity in Ghana which could result in load management over the period of the work.

“GRIDCo and ECG however, wish to assure the public that we are collaborating with other stake­holders in the power value chain to optimise available resources to ensure minimal impact of the re­duction in gas supply on consum­ers,” the joint statement added.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Manag­ing Director of ECG, Mr Kwadwo Obeng, said the company cannot provide a planned load shedding schedule to customers despite the announcement of the three-week power interruption.

Mr Obeng said scheduled timeta­ble maybe difficult due to uncer­tainties in power supply.

“We’re collaborating with local manufacturers, and companies that have plants here…there’s more un­certainty in the amount that needs to be shed, then the utilities can also plan, then we’re definite.

We know there will be a three-week (challenge), do we even know the quantum, we don’t know the quantum. Without the quantum, how do you even prepare the schedule? There are several factors, having known the quantum, you need to know the duration, there’s an off-peak period, which we need to quantify all these,” he stressed.

He was speaking at a public forum organised by civil society organisations in the energy sector led by IMANI Africa and Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), on how to address the current power challenges facing the coun­try, in Accra, last Friday.

Under the theme: ‘Understand­ing the mechanism for addressing the recent power sector challeng­es,’ the forum brought together Management Teams of the ECG, GRIDco, Volta River Authority, Public Utility Regulatory Com­mission and Energy Commission to discuss and understand the key issues leading to the recent power sector challenges and the mech­anisms implemented to restore stability and improve institutional coordination in the power sector.

The Director of System Opera­tions, GRIDCo, Mr Frank Okyere, maintained that the current power supply challenge was occasioned by inadequate fuel for thermal gen­eration, low water level in the Bui Dam and fault on some generators.

“Adequate liquid fuels is re­quired to be purchased to make up generation capacity to adequately serve Ghana’s demand and due to the limited water in the Bui reservoir, the conservative dispatch of Bui will continue to ensure the remaining water will last until the next inflow season,” he added.

Mr Okyere indicated that currently, the generating capaci­ty installed on the Ghana power system was 5626 megawatt which includes some hydros, thermals and solar plants.

With respect to transmission net­work, he said Ghana currently had 6557 circuit kilometres, predomi­nately 161 kilovolts, with an “old legacy 69 kilovolts circuit ascetically in the Volta Region and 225 kilo­volts in the interconnections with Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina, and we have over the past 10 years started to build more of 330 kilovolts circuits which will basically overlay the 161 that we have.”

 BY VIVIAN ARTHUR

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