The Minister of Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has appealed to Ghanaians to remain calm as steps are taken to address the intermittent power outages being experienced in some parts of the country.
According to him, there was no way government would allow the country to slip back into the prolonged period of power outages between 2012 and 2016 which became known as “dumsor“.
“We are working feverishly to resolve the challenges which have arisen as a result of technical difficulties with our transmission lines and it is our hope that, that issue will be resolved by the end of the year,” Dr Prempeh made the on Tuesday (6 April) when he paid a day’s working visit to the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo).
The visit was to afford him first hand information on the scope of work currently being undertaken to address the power challenges. Dr Prempeh said what was happening had nothing to do with financial challenges as being speculated but rather purely technical.
Old transmission lines
He explained that most of the transmission lines currently transporting electricity to the various substations were installed around 1950 and 60 and had not witnessed any remarkable improvement.
“These our lines that we have just been informed about, were strung in the 50s and some in the 60s. The power it was supposed to transmit to Accra has increased tremendously due to the expansion of Accra yet the lines have remained the same. They are now giving us lines that can improve the power situation in Accra,” he said.
Dr Prempeh said what was required now was the forbearance of the Ghanaian because what was being planned and implemented would better improve the situation for all.
“We should all be sincere and truthful in our communication. In 2016, the whole country was given periods when we are to receive power and when to be off. In 2016, the government of the day told us it was a generation problem. Even the opposition then said government did not have money to buy fuel to power the generators. This is not a generation problem, this is not about fuel so how can we call it “Dumsor”?” he queried.
He said government had included in the budget for this year the provision to improve on the electricity supply systems and it was going to continue until the whole country’s system improves.
The Director of Engineers Project at GRIDCo, Owusu Afriyie, said the site for the Volta-Achimota-Transmission upgrade was constructed in 1965 and had not seen any upgrade since. He said the company was currently upgrading it to ensure that it is able to transfer more load to Accra.
Increase in capacity
Afriyie explained that when completed, the lines would increase its load capacity by about three fold from the current 420mega watts to about 1200mega watts. He noted that the project had commenced from the Volta substation which was one of GRIDCo’s Bulk Supply Point in Tema to Achimota, a distance of about 27kilometres.
“By the completion of this project, we will have more power to the Achimota substation transferred from the Volta substation to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to distribute,” he said.