VRA applauded for excellence in engineering practice

Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo

Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, the Senior Minister, has commended the Volta River Authority (VRA) for its excellence in engineering practice by diversifying and expanding the country’s renewable energy portfolios to ensure quality service delivery.

He lauded the efforts of the Authority in installing the 2.5 megawatt Solar Power Plant in Navrongo in the Upper East Region, the largest grid PV plant in West Africa, and the 50 megawatt solar plant under the Pwalugu Multipurpose Dam project to boost the country’s energy.

The Senior Minister gave the commendation on Wednesday at the launch of the Authority’s 60 Anniversary in Accra, on the theme: “Celebrating 60 Years in the Power Business; Our Legacy, Our Future”.

He was optimistic that the Energy Sector Recovery Programme would bring a balance in sector by the end of 2023.

Mr Osafo-Maafo said the Ministerial taskforce supervising the programme had established the cash waterfall mechanism, which ensured weekly sharing of tariff revenue among players in the electricity value chain, thereby improving liquidity in the sector.

The cash waterfall mechanism had been hailed by sector players and would be extended to cover the gas sector revenues with the establishment of the Natural Gas Clearing House.

“Government has instituted a least-cost fuel procurement strategy to ensure there is value for money in procuring fuel for the sector while plants convert from using liquid fuel to gas,” he said.

Mr Osafo-Maafo said Government was addressing the excess take-or-pay generation capacity payments, adding that Cenpower had agreed to the Gas Supply Agreement that would secure cost savings of up to $3.0 billion during the lifetime of the project.

The Senior Minister commended management of the Authority for the transformational strategies that had ushered VRA into a new age of resilience, diversification, sustainability and growth, which had enhanced the reliability of power supply in the country.

Mr Osafo-Maafo encouraged the staff to continue to develop skills and grow experiences to support the power sector initiatives as well as strengthen the VRA brand for the next 60 years and beyond.

Mr Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa, the Chief Executive of VRA, said the Authority would continue to provide electricity to support the country’s economic development and to its neighbouring countries of Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire.

He said it would continue to explore the use of digitisation in its operations, stressing that digitisation would facilitate the integration of clean, cost-efficient, and diversified sources of energy through solar, wind and biomass.

Mr Antwi-Darkwa said the VRA had commenced the process to convert the Akosombo Township into a smart city to leverage on the infrastructure and human skill sets that were abundant in the area.

“We have completed a roof top solar project at our Head Office, as a precursor to establishing solar parks and rooftop solar facilities in Akosombo, Aboadze and Akuse enclaves, an evidence of our new commitment to living in a green environment,” he said.

The Chief Executive reaffirmed the Authority’s commitment to developing the organisation into a public institution, which operated with a private sector mindset.

Other programmes earmarked for the anniversary are donation of medical suppliers to hospitals, sponsorship package to 60 needy students in the Authority’s catchment areas, free medical screening, interaction with the aged, widows and orphans, and volunteer services.

The celebration would be climaxed with a dinner and awards night.

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