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General News of Monday, 14 November 2016

Source: 3 News

Vultures cause power cut – ECG explains recent dumsor

The Director of Operations at Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG),Tetteh Ankamah Okyne, says the power cut the nation is currently experiencing is due to the activities of vultures and other birds, stressing that, it is working hard to address the problem.

The company disclosed this last week when the Public Utility Regulatory Commission convened a meeting among the power producers including VRA, Gridco, ECG, Asogli, among others to ascertain the cause of the power cut being witnessed in Accra and certain parts of the country. As usual the power producers and Gridco put the blame at the doorstep of the ECG, which in turn put the blame on the activities of vultures and other birds.

“The power cut being witnessed in Accra and certain parts of the country is due to the activities of vultures and other birds and we are working hard to address the problem,” Mr. Okyne stressed.

Ghana has been facing a power crisis caused by a deficit in power generation for the past four years, forcing the country’s power distributor, Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to run a load-shedding programme.

Several businesses have complained about the debilitating effect of the power crisis on their businesses. The energy’s sector problems have been tackled under the public management for years but have not been resolved.

On the contrary, performance has been declining. “I must say I was disappointed because if the vultures get angry now then the whole country will be engulfed in darkness,” Jimmy Johnson, a concerned citizen has stated, adding that, this is bizzare and shameful.

Meanwhile, the Tema Regional office of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has, between January and September this year, recovered about GH¢2.4 million of stolen power.

The amount was part of GH¢2.8 million worth of power some customers in the Region consumed illegally. Acting Regional Commercial Manager of ECG, Emmanuel Seidu, revealed this on the sidelines of a media engagement with management of the Tema Regional ECG office. Mr Seidu stated that 37,482 customers were visited during an operation and billed after it was detected that they stole power.

He cautioned customers against the stealing of power as they would be detected and billed with it. He said mass installation pre-paid metres in four out of the seven districts in the Region was on going.

The Tema South District, he said, has completed 95 per cent of the installation, while the Nungua, Afienya and Prampram districts have done 70, 60, and 50 per cents installations respectively.

He indicated that customers currently not receiving bills for power used under the Self Help Electrification Project (SHEP) would be billed with all the power used when transferred onto the pre-paid metres.

Mr. Seidu however noted that the company has decided to spread the payment of the compiled bills over a period of three months to reduce the burden on customers. Mark Asomani-Wiafe, ECG Tema Regional Engineer, said Tema had one of the best operation systems in the country as the region used overhead lines making it easy for engineers to identify faults. Mr Asomani-Wiafe added that his outfit had also adopted the preventive maintenance approach as against the corrective maintenance system it used to run.

Mr Jones Ofori-Addo, Tema Regional ECG General Manager, said the engagement was to deepen relations between management and media practitioners as well as to address issues of concern to customers. Mr Ofori-Addo gave the assurance that there were no sub-standard metres in Ghana as the Ghana Standard Authority had certified all meters before installation. He however said metres could be faulty and such faults should be reported at their offices.

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