Businesses expect stable power supply

Ireneo B. Acuna, Vice President, Meralco

Following the Ghana Grid Company’s announcement of the completion of diversion works on the 330Kv Aboadze-Tema transmission line along the Pokuase Highway, businesses are optimistic of boosting production and business volumes to restore losses incurred throughout the whole of last week, due to the erratic power supply and outages.

The phenomenon which had generated tension among businesses and the general public, had caused many to question the state owned power sector institutions, with some doubting the capability of the country’s new electricity distribution managers, Power Distribution Services, regarding efficient, regular distribution of the country’s electricity to consumers.

Calm was somewhat restored late last week as the Energy Minister, Mr. John Peter Amewu explained the situation and the circumstances that brought about the challenge to the media, citing diversion works of 330kV Aboadze-Tema transmission line traversing the ongoing highway interchange at Pokuase  as the cause.

However, in the face of allegations by the political opposition that the true cause of the outages was insufficient financing of requisite feedstock for power generation, many consumers remained worried about how long the situation would last, despite the definite five day timeline given by the Energy Minister last week. Their uncertainties were further exacerbated by public commentators who reminded them that the recent power crisis that lasted from 2012 to 2016 was similarly dismissed at its onset as a very short term problem, only for it to stretch into several years.

Indeed, with many business suffering significant production cutbacks from last week into the start of this one, business confidence dropped sharply, especially among small scale entrepreneurs who lack the capacity to quickly switch over to private power sources

However, a statement copied to the Goldstreet Business yesterday, March 19, assured that GRIDCo has completed works on the diversion. Indeed by yesterday afternoon there were no reports of further major outages in Accra itself, although confirmations of a return to normalcy all around southern Ghana were still being awaited as of last night.

The statement noted that the company is committed to working with all stakeholders to provide reliable electricity supply to all consumers.

Meanwhile however, the Institute of Energy Studies, despite the official reason tendered of diversion works, has warned the public to expect more power outages in the future.

The Institute through its Executive Director, Paa Kwesi Anamoah Sakyi, noted that the explanations offered for the recent power outages demands some clarity because, “while GRIDCo cited diversion works as the cause of the problem, the PDS had attributed the blackouts to problems experienced at the Bulk Supply Points”.

Indeed, there are still lingering worries that the problems that caused the week-long power outages may be deeper than what government has admitted to. Such conspiracy theorists suspect that government is playing for time while struggling to resolve whatever deeper problems exist.

For now at least though, the evidence points towards  successful resolution of the short term technical problem, just as asserted by government.

By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe