GRIDCo awards contract for reliable power
The Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) has awarded a $32-million contract for the expansion of the connection base of the 330 kilovolt (kv) transmission lines within the Aboadze Thermal Power enclave.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GRIDCo, Mr William Amuna, who disclosed this in an interview, said it would enable the lines to carry on additional generating systems to add to the existing eight units and, thereby, enable the company to evacuate power from additional generating units that were to come on stream soon.
The project will also help in the reduction of transmission losses and further enhance reliability of power supply from Aboadze.
Contractors are working on the project, which is expected to be completed within 18 months.
Mr Amuna, who spoke to the Daily Graphic on the sidelines of a meeting with selected journalists in Tema yesterday, explained that Ghana’s quest to become a net exporter of power in the West African sub-region required a very good grid system that would evacuate power to the sub-region.
He indicated that the only way to achieve that goal was to interconnect the power grid of the various countries, adding: “Presently, we are connected to Cote d’Ivoire, which also has its systems connected to Burkina Faso and Mali, while Ghana is also connected to Togo and Benin along the coast.”
That, he said, required the need to create a backbone of transmission lines that could take a lot more power than normal.
He intimated that the West African Power Pool (WAPP) was also undertaking the Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea (CLLG) transmission line which was supposed to be linked to the Cote d’Ivoire system, saying that could enable Ghana to also transmit power through the system to the sub-region, hence the need to expand the Aboadze base in readiness.
Mr Amuna pointed out that whereas GRIDCo would want to address the technical challenges facing its operations, financial liquidity continued to derail its efforts.
He stated that delays in the payment of debt services, operational expenses, including statutory payments, among others, were impacting negatively on the company’s operations.
GRIDCo, he said, had to expend some GH¢192 million on various landowners in terms of compensation, since the company had to enter people’s lands to build transmission lines across the country.
“Sometimes the owners come back saying the compensation is not enough and want to renegotiate the sale agreement,” he lamented.
The Electricity of Ghana (ECG), he said, presently owed GRIDCo in excess of GH¢500,000, adding: “While we want to reduce transmission losses, the receivables from the ECG are affecting project deliverables.”
Mr Amuna stressed that GRIDCo was presently undergoing a sub-station reliability enhancement project aimed at replacing obsolete machinery to improve efficiency and reduce transmission losses.