ECG attributes absence of load shedding schedule to supply uncertainty

Mr Kwadwo Obeng, the Deputy Managing Director of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) says the company cannot provide a planned load shedding schedule to customers because of uncertainties in power supply.

He said it would be difficult to adhere strictly to the timetable especially when not all outages were a result of fuel supply challenges.

Mr Obeng explained that outages could be a result of planned maintenance, network fault, as well as theft and vandalism.

‘We said that because information of about how much to be shared was erratic, we couldn’t really provide a timetable, because in the morning we could say that we need to shed just 40 (megawatts) at 8 o’ clock. And imagine we prepared a table to shed 40 and by 12 pm that situation changes.

‘We realise that even if we prepare a timetable, there would be lot of inconsistencies. And the worst we want to have as a nation would be for the utility provider to say you would go off and then you don’t go off, or your outage exceeds the stipulated period,’
he said.

He was speaking at a public forum organised by Civil Society Organisations (CSO’S) on how to address the current power challenges facing the country.

Mr Albert Ayirebi-Acquah, a representative of the Independent Power Producers (IPP) who generate about 2339 megawatts said the IPPs have in the past three years generated about 40 per cent of the country’s power needs.

‘Although we don’t have the 2024 power plan, we expect to contribute over 50 per cent of power generated in the country,’ he said

He cited the unavailability of fuel, and failure of government to meet its financial obligations to the IPPs as factors to the ongoing power crisis.

Mr Ayirebi-Acquah said the Cash Waterfall Mechanism (CWM), a system established to collect and pay revenue to power generators, was not a panacea to the constraints in the power sector.

He noted that the IPPs accept that the CWM in its current form as an interim measure that provides some level of certainty and predictability of payment from ECG.

Mr Ayirebi-
Acquah said that it was important for current commitment under CWM be honoured in a timely manner to enable IPPs meet financial obligations.

He also called for a representation of IPPs on the CWM implementation committee to improve transparency, efficiency and ensure due consideration are given to their concerns.

Other stakeholders present at the forum were the Public Utility Regulatory Commission, Volta River Authority and the Ghana Grid Company Limited.

Source: Ghana News Agency