The Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) has set up the ‘Right of Way’ Taskforce to deal with operational challenges such as encroachment, weed overgrowth, and illegal mining along the company’s electricity transmission lines.
They are in three teams stationed in Kumasi, Tema and Takoradi and would be responsible for monitoring transmission lines in their catchment areas.
Mr Ebenezer Essienyi, the Chief Executive Officer of GRIDCo, at the meet the press series in Accra, said the company would deploy modern technology to enhance predictive and condition-based maintenance.
He explained that it was risky to build close to or under transmission lines and cautioned encroachers on the possibility of being electrocuted.
“There are people plying their trade under transmission lines. Our laws forbid these activities. Should any line go down, lives will be lost so it is important for people to stay off,” he warned.
Mr Essienyi said illegal mining activities, popularly known as “galamsey” was disrupting the company’s operations, adding that; “All they do is to chase the resources, forgetting that the towers that are there are for our collective good.”
“Because of galamsey we had to relocate our towers just to ensure the reliability for supplies to our consumers. All these things come at a cost and impairs our reliability of supply.”
“Sometimes the tower footings of the foundation get completely exposed. These add to
the operations cost of doing business.”
Mr Essienyi said GRIDCo had begun the reconstruction of major transmission lines between Accra and Tema to increase transmission capacity, reduce losses, improve voltages, and reduce outages.
“If you recall, in our recent past, anytime clouds form and it’s raining, we do get complaints that our lights are off and this is due to our old lines, which were built in the 1960s,” he said.
“They have sucked so much that for a little wind that blows and the lines swing then the lights go off.”
Mr Essienyi spoke about up-coming projects including the Ghana – Germany Compact Improvement of the Southwestern Infrastructure that would see the construction of a Backup Control Centre.
The 161kV Aboadze – Cape Coast – Winneba – Mallam Transmission Line Project and the 161kV middle corridor transmission lines from Akosombo – Tafo – Nkawkaw – Konongo – Kumasi would eliminate congestion and increase transmission transfer capacity.