Business News of Tuesday, 3 October 2017
The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has said it has so far invested in excess of GH¢220 million to replace some of its ageing power infrastructure as part of a strategy to ensure that power losses that emanate from use of obsolete equipment are minimised.
The acting Managing Director of the company, Ing. Samuel Boakye-Appiah, said some of the equipment being replaced is as old as 40 years.
Mr. Boakye-Appiah, speaking on the sidelines of the fourth ECG engineers’ forum said: “We have replaced all the obsolete equipment in Accra and Tema operational areas. The most recent being the replacement of our bulk supply point at Achimota where we completely replaced the 33kv board that serves and supplies power to most eastern part of Accra.
“Recently, we inaugurated a newly-constructed sub-station at Hohoe in the Volta Region, which replaced an existing 40-year-old sub-station. So, this is an on-going project that we are implementing – and I can say that to a large extent most of the major obsolete equipment has been replaced.
“You will agree with me that technology is advancing, and as we step forward there will still be the need for us to bring ourselves to the newest and latest technologies to make sure that we are operating within the industry standards,” he stated.
According to him, so far, more than US$50million has been spent on the equipment replacement programme, which commenced about a year ago. The impact of the exercise, he added, has been almost immediate.
“It is now safe for our workers to operate this new equipment. Also, it has improved system reliability. You will agree with me that over the past six months, the power supply has been very, very stable; and all these measures are part of it.
“Talking about system losses, the new equipment can detect leakages in the system and all those leakages have been removed; and generally the construction of additional lines and substations have also improved the network reliability. So, to a large extent, these measures have reduced technical loses in the system,” the ag. ECG MD added.
Revenue protection programme
Mr. Boakye-Appiah stated that an exercise commenced about a year ago, to ensure that consumers are paying for the power they consume, has so far recovered in excess of GH¢23million.
The exercise, he explained, requires ECG staff to visit customers’ premises to assess the integrity of their electrical wiring, their meters and their performance to find out if tampering has been done, and possibly prosecute those who deliberately tamper with their meters, or replace meters which are malfunctioning.
The ECG engineers’ forum was established four years ago and creates a platform for engineers in ECG to come together and discuss technical, operational issues which affect their operations and propose solutions to those challenges and problems with the objective of serving their customers better, and also improving its operational efficiency.