Power cuts to hit Accra as fire outbreak destroys ECG substation

Street LightResidents of some parts of Accra are to experience power outages following a fire outbreak that gutted portions of the Electricity Company of Ghana’s (ECG’s) main substation at Achimota yesterday.

The fire, said to have started at about 11 a.m. yesterday, destroyed electricity cables, wires and other electricity gadgets within the transmitting room of the substation.

Although the cause of the fire outbreak is yet to be ascertained, the magnitude of the damage caused by the fire appeared to be massive.

When the Daily Graphic arrived at the scene at 12:20 p.m., thick smoke was coming out from the top of the roof and the entrance to the substation.

Because of the intensity of the smoke, fire personnel had to soak their nose masks with water to prevent them from inhaling the smoke.

During an inspection conducted after the fire was put out, it was discovered that major power transmission cables which connected wires within the substation had been completely burnt.

A few minutes later, the Energy Minister, Mr Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, arrived at the scene to ascertain the extent of  damage caused.

Briefing journalists in Accra, the Managing Director of the ECG, Mr William Hutton-Mensah, said the destroyed cables would mean that residents living within the Eastern part of Accra would  experience power outages.

He said until the problem was fixed, residents living at Cantonments, Labone, Ministries, Achimota, Madina and Adenta, would face power outages.

Although, he did not give the full extent of the damage at the substation, he said major cables that allowed for the flow of electricity would have to be replaced in order to restore power supply to residents within the Eastern part of Accra.

“It’s too early to tell residents when the problem will be fixed but we are already putting in place all the equipment and other resources to ensure that power is restored to our customers,” Mr Hutton-Mensah said.

Asked when the problem would be entirely fixed to ensure that residents within the Eastern part of Accra received power supply, the MD, who could not give a specific date, said the  “ECG will work 24 hours every day until the problem is fixed”.

In the meantime, Mr Hutton-Mensah said, the ECG would depend largely on two power supply points at Mallam and Ardjinganor to extend power to areas which would be affected until the Achimota substation was fixed.

Mr Kofi Buah gave an assurance that there was enough power generation for the ECG to continue to feed residents of Accra, and added that “there is no cause for alarm”.

For his part,  the Sub-station officer at the Ghana National Fire  Service (GNFS) headquarters, Mr David Adjei, said because of the intensity of the smoke, the GNFS took 45 minutes to kill the fire.

He said the GNFS received the news of the fire outbreak at 11:11 a.m. and reached the scene at 11:25 a.m.

He said the GNFS had to use foam to quench the fire in order to prevent it from spreading to the remaining sections of the transmitting room.

Mr Adjei said the cause of the fire would be known after full checks had been carried out.

Source: GNA

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