Indebtedness to GRIDCo cause of load-shedding

The current load-shedding has partly been blamed on the indebtedness of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) and the Volta River Authority (VRA).

A highly placed source told the Daily Graphic that the VRA and the GRIDCo could not perform efficiently as a result of the level of indebtedness and added that the situation was so bad that staff of GRIDCo were paid using an overdraft few months ago.

It said the financial situation of GRIDCo rendered the company incapable of maintaining and servicing its equipment, adding that taking delivery of new equipment was also a challenge.

The source noted with concern that the ECG owed GRIDCo to the tune of more than GH¢150 million and questioned why the ECG had to be paying the GRIDCo GH¢4 million a week, an amount the source pointed out was far below what should be paid.

It questioned why the ECG had not published its annual account since 2006. Timetable

The Ministry of Energy and other power companies held a joint press conference in Accra last week to announce a load-shedding timetable in view of the shortage in electricity supply.

A Deputy Minister of Energy, Mr John Jinapor, at the press conference, was quoted as blaming the current energy crisis on the “erratic and unreliable supply of gas from Nigeria” and the fact that some machines were due for repairs. Rebuttal

But the source said the reasons adduced by the deputy minister for the load-shedding  were doubtful, saying that the government was not coming clean on the matter and stressed the need for a proper explanation to be given to the people.

“Is it the case that the government is not paying for the gas from Nigeria? We need to be told the truth,” the source said.

Expressing disbelief about the reasons, it said the government had always cited those issues as responsible for the energy challenges in the country. Sub-station and breach of procurement law

According to the source, part of the energy challenge was the result of the dysfunctional third Bulk Supply Point at Trassaco Valley, an electricity sub-station which it said was a “white elephant”.

He described the equipment used for the sub-station as substandard and accused the ECG of not complying with Ghana’s procurement law as goods procured by the company were mostly on the basis of sole sourcing or restrictive tender.

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