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ECG Moves To Reduce Losses   
 
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23-Mar-2015  
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The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) is embarking on network improvement projects aimed at reducing technical losses, and increase capacity to meet the growing demand, and ensure supply reliability.

An amount of US$200 million has been earmarked for the above projects which are among a number of measures being initiated by the company to turn it around.

Most of these are to be completed between 2015 and 2016.

Under the distribution system loss reduction project, US$150 million is being invested to improve the distribution network, re-route service tails and replace energy meters with prepayment metering technology for a minimum of 400,000 customers in Accra.

Another intervention by ECG is the distribution network rehabilitation in parts of Accra, Tema and Kumasi using

Aerial Bundle Conductors (ABC) technology to reduce the incidence of power theft.

ECG, in conjunction with the judicial Service, has established five electricity courts to prosecute cases of energy theft in all the company’s operational regions.

Also, under the Boundary Metering and Distribution Transformer Metering (BMDTM) Project, the company seeks to sustain the loss reduction programme.

It has embarked on energy audit within its distribution network. This involves installation of BMDTM in areas where the low voltage (LV) has been improved and prepayment meters have been installed.

The company has also introduced a Performance Management System in addition to the adoption of Balanced Scorecard methodology for planning and budgeting.

Organised Labour’s position

These, among other interventions, devoid of government interference could help the management of ECG to overcome its operational challenges the energy situation in the country in the next five years, according to both the Public Utility Workers Union (PUWU) and the Public Services Workers Union (PSWU), affiliates of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC).  

Thus, becoming a credible off-taker as on the government through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact which seeks to double access to power and improve the energy sector, with special attention scaling Private Sector Participation (PSP) in ECG.

The compact, dubbed: “Ghana Power Compact,” and signed in August last year is the largest US government-funded transaction. It intends to invest up to US$498.2 million to support the transformation of Ghana’s electricity sector and stimulate private investment.

In an interview with the GRAPHIC BUSINESS in Accra, the Deputy General Secretary of PUWU, Mr Michael Adumatta Nyantakyi, said the fundamental problem in Ghana’s energy sector was a shortfall in generation and that should be tackled as a matter of urgency.

“You realise that for the supply side to overcome its operational challenges if you bring in a private operator into the distribution now, where there is no power, what is he going to distribute? There is no private entity that can come into the country now as these people are pushing now between now and December to get our energy problems fixed,” he said.

He said addressing the energy challenges through such agreement amounted to putting the cart before the horse. “Let’s address the key issue which is the supply and then see what measures the distributor is doing to transform its operations,” he said. 

Short of accessing funds from the MCC, a position paper by the PUWU and PSWU said that listing the ECG on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) could raise the needed capital to support its operations and give Ghanaians the opportunity to own part of the company.

“Another option is for ECG to access pension funds from the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) and Second Tier Pension Funds as pertains in developed countries where such funds support industry for economic development and job creation.

Adequate funding could be sourced from within the country instead of always looking to the outside world,” it said.
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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