Ghana won’t go back to “dumsor”– says Energy Minister

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Minister of Energy

The Minister of Energy, Matthew Opoku Prempeh, has said that the government will not allow the country to slip back into the days of prolonged power outages, aka “dumsor.”

He therefore urged the citizenry to remain calm, as prudent steps are being taken to address the intermittent power outages that are being experienced in most parts of the country.

Dr Opoku Prempeh noted that unlike the previous four-year dumsor situation in the country, which was planned and had a load shedding timetable for public to monitor, the Akufo-Addo government will not watch the country to slip back into the prolonged period of power outages.

He said that the government is working assiduously to resolve the challenges which have arisen as a result of technical difficulties with the transmission lines, saying “it is our hope that, that issue will be resolved by the end of the year.”

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The Energy Minister gave the assurance on Tuesday in Accra during a day’s working visit to the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) to access the maintenance projects and acquire first-hand information on the scope of work currently being undertaken to address the power challenges.

Financial challenge

Dr Opoku Prempeh was dissatisfied with comments which suggested that the current power challenge was a result of financial constraint.

“What was happening had nothing to do with financial challenges as being speculated, but rather purely technical … 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,” he said.

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During the tour of GRIDCo facility, the sector minister was briefed that most of the lines used were strung in the 50s and some in the 60s; thus, 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.

The Minister therefore called for the forbearance of Ghanaians, assuring that what is being planned and implemented would better improve the situation for all.

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.

Capacity boost

The GRIDCo Director of Engineers Project, Owusu Afriyie, said the site for the Volta-Achimota-Transmission upgrade was constructed in 1965 and had not seen any upgrade since and the company is currently upgrading it to ensure that it is able to transfer more load to Accra.

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He was optimistic that the maintenance works, when completed, would boost the company’s load capacity by about three fold from the current 420mega watts to about 1200mega watts.

“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,” Mr Afriyie said.

According to him, 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.

 

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