Gov’t gives 24-hour ultimatum to VRA, GRIDCo, ECG to report on recent nation-wide blackouts

The Minister of Energy, Dr Joe Oteng-Adjei, has ordered the three electricity providers to set up a technical committee to investigate the circumstances that have led to a string of nation-wide blackouts in recent times.

The providers — the Volta River Authority (VRA), the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) — are to submit their report to the ministry within 24 hours.

They are also required to outline strategies to forestall future nation-wide blackouts.

The country has experienced three major blackouts since January this year.

Dr Oteng-Adjei told in an interview that Wednesday’s blackout was certainly worrying and, therefore, necessitated an independent enquiry to ascertain the challenge. He said, much as the government acknowledged the constraints in the power sector, total blackouts could be prevented if systems were managed effectively.

“The utility companies must be up and doing because Ghanaians are beginning to lose their patience on such incidents which are preventable,” he said, adding, “Incidents of nation-wide blackouts have security and economic implications and should, therefore, not be taken for granted.”

While using the platform to apologise to the public for the inconvenience the inaction of the three providers might have caused them, the minister signalled that people would have to suffer the consequences if it was found that the recurrence was as a result of human error.

While the VRA attributed the latest occurrence to system overload as a result of overstretched demand during peak periods, officials of GRIDCo took exception to that.

According to the Public Relations Manager of GRIDCo, Mr Albert Quainoo, preliminary investigations revealed that the recurrence was as a result of inadequate generation reserve margin to take care of emergencies in the event of collapse.

According to him, the power producer ought to make available an acceptable daily reserve of 160 megawatts, which is about 10 per cent of system demand.

Source: Daily Graphic

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