Nationwide Blackout: ECG & GRIDCo

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Hide Behind Big English As Dumsor Is Back, Minister and Deputy Cool Off In America

Ghana witnessed a nationwide blackout on Wednesday night, leaving the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCO), hiding behind the use of big English language (semantics) as to the actual cause of the power outage, who is to blame, how to resolve the matter and how to prevent a future occurrence.

While the Public Relations Officer of ECG, William Boateng, blamed unexpected lost of feed from GRIDCO, Chief Executive Officer of GRIDCO, William Amuna said: “there was a surge of power around 9:40pm last night; we lost many generators across the country. As a consequence, we lost supply to most parts of the country.”

As this was happening, the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, together with his Deputy, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, were in Houston Texas, United States with a large Ghanaian delegation at this year’s Offshore Technology Conference (OTC).

The relevance of the conference and size of the delegation, has been questioned with insiders at the Energy Ministry, demanding to know the cost.

The nation remained without power the whole of yesterday with the ECG discounting claims by GRIDCO that power would be restored by 10am, as not feasible. Indeed, power was not ready.

Meanwhile, The Herald is told that government was unable to raise funds to fuel the generators.

This paper also learnt that, the Volta Hydroelectric dam at Akosombo, is being stretched above its capacity by the management of the Volta River Authority (VRA).

Engineers, had spent the night busily working to restore electricity, but were unsuccessful.

William Amuna in an interview explained that the situation could be attributed to a fault on one of the transmission lines or possibly a lightning strike on the transmission lines, which has to be determined Thursday morning after restoration.

“We are currently concentrating on restoration; we will come out with the actual reasons for the outages later in the day but for now restoration is ongoing. Hopefully in the next three hours, (9am) we should be done with the whole country.”

But the deputy PRO for the ECG Daniel Adjei-Larbi said it will take some time before power could be adequately distributed even if the problem is resolved from GRIDCo’s end.

“By evening, we would have restored power supply. The 10am is not exactly feasible because they (GRIDCo) would give us the power supply but we need to take it through the transmission lines,” he told host of Morning Starr Francis Abban.

The last time a nationwide blackout hit Ghana was in January 2016, as a result of system failure.

The Minister of Energy, together with his Ghanaian delegation, including Deputy Energy Minister in charge of Petroleum, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, Deputy Energy Minister in charge of Finance and Infrastructure, Joseph Cudjoe, are in the US.

A press stamen from the ministry mentioned that, “other technocrats” were part of the delegation representing Ghana at this year’s Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston Texas, United States.

The conference scheduled from May 1, 2017 to May 4, 2017, is the largest event in the world for the oil and gas industry, featuring more than 2,300 exhibitors, and attendees representing 100 countries.

“The Minister and his team met with key stakeholders in the global oil and gas landscape to, amongst other things, promote Ghana’s oil and gas sector. Hon Agyarko also had meeting with major oil companies both those operating in Ghana currently as well as new entrants to attract investment in Ghana’s petroleum sector”, it said.

Founded in 1969, OTC’s flagship conference is held annually in Houston. OTC has expanded globally with the Arctic Technology Conference, OTC Brazil, OTC Asia, and d5”, the statement from the Communications Unit of Ministry of Energy, concluded.

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