General News of Monday, 20 May 2013

Source: Daily Graphic

Accra residents to face power outages for a while – ECG

Residents of some parts of Accra are to experience power outages following a fire outbreak that gutted portions of the Electricity Company of Ghana’s (ECG’s) main substation at Achimota Sunday.

The fire, said to have started at about 11 a.m. destroyed electricity cables, wires and other electricity gadgets within the transmitting room of the substation.

Although the cause of the fire outbreak is yet to be ascertained, the magnitude of the damage appears to be massive.

When the Daily Graphic arrived at the scene at 12:20 p.m., thick smoke billowed out from the top of the roof and the entrance to the substation.

Because of the intensity of the smoke, fire personnel had to soak their nose masks with water to prevent them from inhaling the smoke.

During an inspection conducted after the fire was put out, it was discovered that major power transmission cables which connected wires within the substation had been completely burnt.

A few minutes later, the Energy Minister, Mr Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, arrived at the scene to ascertain the extent of damage caused.

Briefing journalists in Accra, the Managing Director of the ECG, Mr William Hutton-Mensah, said the destruction of their cables would result in power outages for residents living within the Eastern part of Accra.

He said until the problem was fixed, residents living at Cantonments, Labone, Ministries, Achimota, Madina and Adenta, would face power outages.

Although, he did not give the full extent of the damage at the substation, he said major cables that allowed for the flow of electricity would have to be replaced in order to restore power supply to residents within the Eastern part of Accra.

Asked when the problem would be entirely fixed to ensure that residents within the Eastern part of Accra received power supply, the MD, who could not give a specific date, said the “ECG will work 24 hours every day until the problem is fixed”.

In the meantime, Hutton-Mensah said, the ECG would depend largely on two power supply points at Mallam and Ardjinganor to extend power to areas which would be affected until the Achimota substation was fixed.

Kofi Buah gave an assurance that there was enough power generation for the ECG to continue to feed residents of Accra, and added that “there is no cause for alarm”.

For his part, the Sub-station officer at the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) headquarters, David Adjei said because of the intensity of the smoke, the GNFS took 45 minutes to kill the fire.

He said the GNFS received the news of the fire outbreak at 11:11 a.m. and reached the scene at 11:25 a.m.

He said the GNFS had to use foam to quench the fire in order to prevent it from spreading to the remaining sections of the transmitting room.

Mr Adjei said the cause of the fire would be known after full checks had been carried out.