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Government to convert GRIDCo’s debts into equity

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The government has pledged to convert the debts owed it by the Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) into equity and support it with funds from the Energy Sector Levy Act (ESLA) Bond to ensure improved and reliable power supply.

Mr Joseph Cudjoe, a Deputy Minister of Energy in charge of Finance and Infrastructure, made this known at the Ninth Annual General Meeting of GRIDCo in Accra on Thursday.

He said government had already disbursed GH¢5.664 billion of the GH¢10 billion Energy Sector Levy Act Bond to energy sector firms.

He pledged government’s commitment to disbursing the second tranche soon to ensure frequent, fair and equitable cash flow for reliable and sustained power transmission.

Mr Cudjoe urged the Management of GRIDCo to restructure the company’s operations by being more efficient and venture into markets outside Africa to turnaround its net losses into profitability.

GRIDCo recorded a total revenue of GH¢715 million, representing a 6.14 per cent increase in revenue accrued in 2016, which was GH¢673, 835 million.

However, non-payment by its key customers and the inclusion of interest cost of loans contracted for the West African Power Pool asset resulted in a Net Loss of GH¢31 million in 2017.

The meeting reviewed the Company’s financial performance for the 2017 fiscal year while stakeholders planned the way forward towards making it more profitable in the ensuing years.

Ambassador Kabral Blay-Amihere, the Board Chairman of GRIDCo, said the Company was focused on adopting efficient strategies to maintain a robust transmission system with ample power reserves to meet the increasing electricity demand and engender economic growth.

He said it was poised to providing Grid Consulting Services to utility companies in the West African Sub-region as part of its external relations, and that it was determined to reinforce its position as a leader in the West African Power Pool (WAPP).

Ambassador Blay-Amihere reiterated the Board’s commitment to guide the Company in making steady investments into the National Interconnected Transmission System (NITS) to ensure reliable electricity supply.

“We’re optimistic about Shareholder’s support for the Company with the needed financial assistance in the current financial year, to nurture the pursuit and implementation of crucial strategies necessary for the optimal achievement of GRIDCo’s vision and mission,” he said.

Mr Jonathan Amoako-Baah, the Chief Executive Officer of GRIDCo, said being adjudged the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) Energy Company of the Year 2017 was a reflection of the Company’s adherence to best practices.

The Award is also in recognition of the Company’s resilience and efforts of being a Model Electricity Grid Company.

Mr Amoako-Baah noted that GRIDCo invested in research and development and augmented the use of technology in its operations, with the ultimate aim to promote efficiency and ensure long-term sustainability.

He gave the assurance that the Company would also identify and implement cost efficient processes including using project evaluation techniques and monitor the firm adherence to budgetary provisions.

The GRIDCo recorded a peak demand of 2192.15 megawatt (MW) on November 13, 2017, representing a 9.77 per cent increase, compared to the 1997MW recorded on November 29, 2016.

Additionally, it transmitted a total of 14.31 Terawatt hours (TWh) of energy on its transmission network, out of that, the net energy consumed locally was 13.71TWh.

0.32TWh of energy was imported from La Cote d’Ivoire and 0.13TWh was exported to SONABEL, Youga Mines, Burkina Faso and CIE.

Meanwhile, 13.99 TWh was recorded as the net total energy generated in Ghana, with 0.59TWh being recorded as transmission losses in 2017.

GRIDCo is also exclusively licensed to operate the National Interconnected Transmission System, which owns and operates about 5,216 circuit km of high voltage transmission lines across the country, mainly operated at 161KV.

The other transmission voltages are 69KV, 225kV and 330 KV, which carry power from the various generating stations to 68 operational transformer substations.

The power is then stepped down at the transformer substations to lower voltages for bulk customers like the Electricity Company of Ghana and Northern Electricity Distribution Company Limited.

Source: GNA

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