The Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) on Friday, handed over 12 brand new Pick-Up vehicles procured at the cost of US$480,000 to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), to support its operations and to reduce commercial losses.
The package formed part of the Ghana Power Compact II programme aimed at ensuring the financial and operational turnaround of the ECG and enhance efficiency.
ECG loses a significant amount of money each year because of theft, illegal connections, meter tampering and other irregularities, which cause inaccurate count of the energy used by a consumer.
Therefore, the provision of the vehicles to the Loss Control Unit of the ECG is intended to support the Loss Control Programme of the utility firm, ensure regular patrols and reduce commercial losses.
At the handing-over ceremony at the ECG Project Office in Accra, Mr Martin Eson-Benjamin, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the MiDA, said Ghana’s power sector had experienced its fair share of challenges, which had significantly impacted on the national economy.
He said in recent past, power consumers had witnessed power outages due to a number of factors, including insufficient power generation, transmission capacity constraints and inefficient distribution system.
Therefore, he said, it was Ghanaian power consumers’ expectation to see the end of such unfortunate phenomenon.
Mr Eson-Benjamin said in view of that collective desire to access and enjoy sustainable power, the US$535 million Ghana Power Compact II, signed between the Government of Ghana and the US Government in August 2014, sought to ensure that, those challenges were systematically addressed through the various Projects outlined in the Compact.
The CEO of MiDA said the activities outlined under the ECG Financial and Operational Turnaround Project include, modernising utility operations, commercial loss reduction and technical loss reduction, as well as outage reduction.
Those projects, he said, upon completion would improve the volume, quality and reliability of electricity within the ECG’s operational areas.
“This will be achieved through reduced outages and cost-effective service delivery, reduced aggregate technical, commercial and collections losses.
“They will improve revenue inflow and enable ECG to operate as a credible off-taker from VRA and the many organisations, which have Power Purchase Agreements with it,” Mr Eson-Benjamin assured.
He said the MiDA was working closely with the ECG to ensure the speedy implementation of those projects.
For instance, he said under the commercial loss education, it had identified the need to improve and strengthen capacity of the existing ECG-Loss Control Unit (LCU).
“In keeping with this understanding, MiDA has procured the services of technical advisors from the private sector, who are working with the ECG to devise strategies to strengthen the Unit to make it more effective in reducing commercial losses,” he stated.
As part of capacity-building plans and ensuring the mobility of ECG’s technicians, Mr Eson-Benjamin said the MiDA was making available to the ECG Loss Control Unit, 12 Cross Country Vehicles, made up of 10 4×4 Double Cabin Pick-up Trucks, with a Tool Box installed in the bucket and two 4×4 Double Cabin Pick-up Trucks.
He said it was the expectation that those vehicles and equipment, procured with the Compact funds, would support the ECG’s Loss Control Unit, to improve the specific areas with the highest commercial losses and curtail losses.
Mr Eson-Benjamin said MiDA would also use a portion of the Compact’s funds to procure the services of a Contractor to commence work on the construction of the Pokuase Bulk Supply Point (BSP).
On completion, he said, the BSP, which would be the largest in the country would improve the reliability of power supply to Pokuase, Nsawam, Kwabenya, Ofankor and parts of Achimota and Adenta.
Additionally, under the Low Voltage Bifurcation Project of the Compact, MiDA was working with the ECG to upgrade and improve on the existing networks at Achimota, Dansoman and Kaneshie Districts. Bids for these Projects would be launched in the coming months, he said.
Mr Eson-Benjamin, therefore, encouraged the participation of local contractors and suppliers in recognition of the Local Content legislature.
Mr Samuel Boakye-Appiah, the ECG Managing Director, on his part, thanked the government of Ghana, the US government and MIDA for the support.
He said the vehicles would facilitate the ECG’s operations and revenue collection efforts.
Therefore, he said, the utility firm would provide the necessary training to the drivers and auto mechanics in order to ensure efficient usage and avoid preventable accidents.