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GRIDCo has no plans to undertake nationwide load shedding

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The Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) says it has no intention to embark on a nationwide load shedding exercise.

The assurance comes after Mr Ebenezer Amankwaah, Corporate Communications Manager of GRIDCo, said in a media engagement recently that, the power transmission firm was in discussion with the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to develop a load shedding timetable for power outages between April and June, this year.

In a statement issued by its Corporate Affairs Department, in Accra, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, GRIDCo said it was rather carrying out key projects to enhance power supply reliability in Accra and Kumasi.

The projects are: Millennium Development Authority (MIDA) funded Pokuase substation and Kasoa Bulk Supply Point installation as well as French Development Agency (AFD) funded Tema-Accra transmission line reinforcement project and the 330kV Kumasi – Kintampo transmission line.

The statement said for the interconnection of the new substations to the existing ones to take place, at some point, an intermittent power outage was required to ensure a safe process.

It explained that the outages would only affect parts of north Accra and Winneba and, therefore, it had instituted measures to engage with customers in the affected areas to minimize the impact.

It said the Pokuase A4BSP Project was being funded by MiDA under the Ghana Compact II.  The scope  includes  the  provision  of  two high-capacity transformers and  break-in  of  the  existing  330kV  Volta-Aboadze  Transmission Line. The project is 95% complete. A number of installations within the distribution network is also underway.

The substation, it explained, would ensure supply reliability to the northern part of Accra and provide flexibility for ECG to distribute load around the city in case of challenges in other parts of the system.

The 161kV Kasoa Substation Project, also funded by MiDA, includes the provision of a Gas Insulated Switchgear Substation with three high-capacity (435MVA) transformers, it stated.

Currently, it said Kasoa and its environs received power supply from the Mallam and Winneba substations with its attendant frequent outages and high losses.

Therefore, the new Kasoa BSP Substation will improve reliability and quality of supply to Kasoa and its environs and also increase power availability to meet growing demand in that area.

Transmission and distribution losses will also be reduced.

The 161kV Tema-Achimota-Mallam transmission reinforcement project is being funded by Agence Française de Développement (AFD). The scope of the project includes the construction of a new 161kV transmission line.

This project will increase the transmission capacity in the corridor and provide enough redundancy in the transmission and distribution system to ensure improved supply reliability and also reduce losses.

The transmission capacity of Tema – Achimota will increase from the current 400MW to 1,900MW, while Achimota to Mallam will increase from 300MW to 900MW.

The Tema-Achimota portion, which is being strung is 65% complete while the Achimota-Mallam is 30% complete.

It said in Ashanti and Northern areas, the power system was characterized by low voltages, especially in Kumasi and the northern regions, which stemmed from the inability to dispatch the Bui Hydro Electric Plant (HEP) due to the low water levels.

It said the implication was that all the electricity required in that area had to be supplied from the southern part of Ghana.

A short-term solution has been implemented (transporting a 66MVA transformer from Accra to Kumasi).

The medium-term solution is the construction of a 330kV transmission line between Anwomanso and Kintampo – earmarked to be completed in July 2021.

In the long term, it said there will be the construction of another line between Nhyiaeso and Anwomanso and the installation of a Static Var Compensator to ensure reliability in the future.

The inherent power interruption issues in Greater Kumasi are also partly due to the absence of a generating plant near the region, with Bui being the closest.

This was originally earmarked as a peaking plant. A decision has been made by the Energy Ministry to transport the Ameri Power Plant from Aboadze to Kumasi by December 2021.

It said stakeholders are working with the Ministry of Energy to pursue this agenda, in order to enhance power transfer capability in the entire network to boost uninterrupted supply in the region.

“The contractors for these projects are aiming at full-scale completion between the months of June and July this year.

Therefore at some point during the process, they will need to interconnect to the existing transmission system.

For that to happen, it said, intermittent power outages would be required at different periods to safely connect the new installations.

“Consequently, these outages are not nationwide and will affect only parts of Accra and Winneba.”

GRIDCo is working with ECG, MiDA and other stakeholders to ensure minimum impact on customers in the affected areas.

The relevant education for customers in the affected areas will be carried out when necessary, it said.

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