State power transmitter Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) has said it is putting measures in place to ensure that the duration of its planned intermittent power outages meant to pave the way for some technical works are minimised.
Ahead of the press conference, GRIDCo had said in a press statement that its recent engagements with the media about ongoing projects in the power sector “appear to have heightened perceptions of impending nationwide power cuts”.
GRIDCo said it wished to assure the general public that it “has no intention of embarking on a nationwide load-shedding programme”.
It noted that the “key projects” being undertaken are “to enhance power supply reliability in Greater Accra”.
These projects are:
• Millennium Development Authority (MIDA) funded Pokuase substation and Kasoa Bulk Supply Point installations.
• French Development Agency (AFD) funded Tema – Accra transmission line reinforcement project.
The contractors for these projects, according to GRIDCo, “are aiming at full-scale completion between the months of June and July this year”.
“At some point during the process, the contractors will need to interconnect to the current transmission system”, it noted.
“For this to happen, intermittent power outages will be required at different periods to safely connect the new installations”, GRIDCo added.
Consequently, GRIDCo said “these outages are not nationwide and will affect only parts of Accra and Winneba”.
GRIDCo said it is working with ECG, MiDA and other stakeholders “to ensure minimum impact on customers in the affected areas”.
GRIDCo, thus, “assured all Ghanaians that there is a concerted effort by all stakeholders, led by the Energy Ministry, to ensure consistent, accessible and reliable power supply at all times”.
Speaking to journalists at a press conference in Accra on Thursday, 1 April 2021, the Director of System Operations at GRIDCo, Mr Mark Baah, said: “The outages that we are experiencing will be a thing of the past and we believe that by June, July, when all these projects are being completed, Ghanaians will now enjoy reliable power”.
He, however, explained that “in order for them to be completed, the contractors on these projects have requested outages because, as they build, they have to connect into the current system, so, it is just like, maybe you’ve invited an electrician to your house to come and fix a problem and he comes and says: ‘Sir, madam, I have to switch off the mains for safe working space, otherwise somebody could die’. And then madam could say that I’m preparing jollof, so, I’m going to blend some tomatoes, give me 30 minutes”.
“The contractors have asked for outages between now and July in order to complete the project”, he added.
He said: “We are talking of 330,000 volts. In our houses we have only 240 volts and that can even kill. So, they will be coming to us to request these outages and when this happens, we grant them this outages, it means that some of us will have to go off”.
“We are now working with ECG on the quantum of these outages and how long it will take and we are also discussing with our contractors, to, as much as possible, minimise the duration so that we’ll have the minimum impact of outages on customers”.