THE VOLTA River Authority (VRA) yesterday celebrated its 60th anniversary in pomp and style at its corporate head office in Accra.
Themed “Celebrating 60 years in the Power Business; Our Legacy, Our Future”, the occasion was graced by chief executives of other agencies in Ghana’s power sector.
Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa, Chief Executive of VRA, in a statement, congratulated staffs, customers of the authority, government and peers in the sub-region for their respective roles which have helped to add value to both the lives of Ghanaians and the VRA.
Noting that VRA’s role in national development was without question, the Chief Executive said, “It is this can-do spirit, which we are privileged to embody, that has made the authority to survive and be an example of emulation by our peers in Ghana and also within the international circle of the utility industry.”
He said the VRA, established on April 26, 1961 with the mandate to generate, transmit and distribute electricity under the Volta River Development Act, Act 46 of the Republic of Ghana, has been the main provider of electricity to support the economic development of Ghana and neighbouring countries including Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso and La Cote d’Ivoire.
Commenting on the future of VRA’s business, Mr. Antwi-Darkwa said the electricity business would be significantly different based on innovation and digitization, which are tipped to be the major enablers.
“…So we are preparing ourselves for the advent of Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and other technological advancements that will manifest globally. We recognise that these enablers will compel us to drive down our costs and therefore remain competitive.
“E-mobility offers another interesting business opportunity and our intention is to be the leader in that space in Ghana. We know that we can only be relevant if we develop our employees with new skill sets so they can be nimble and tech-savvy,” he said.
The Chief Executive said VRA has started a process to convert the Akosombo Township into a smart city by transforming it to become the technology hub of Ghana, adding a rooftop solar project at the authority’s head office has been completed to serve as a precursor to the establishment of parks and rooftop solar facilities in the Akosombo, Aboadze and Akuse enclaves.
“The 60 megawatt Pwalugu Multipurpose Dam Project, which has an additional solar component of 50 megawatt, is a case in point. Further to that, we are also constructing the 19.6 megawatt Kaleo/Lawra Solar plants while our wind projects at Ada and Anloga are under development. We will also continue to nurse other potential renewal projects on the Oti River as well as a pipeline of solar projects at Bongo, Walewale and other parts of the country.”
He commended government, former board members, past and present executives and other stakeholders for their role in making VRA what it is currently.
Following the promulgation of a major amendment to the VRA Act within the context of the Ghana Government Power Sector Reforms in 2005, the VRA’s mandate has now been largely restricted to generation of electricity, creating an enabling environment to attract independent power producers (IPPs) into the Ghana energy market.