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Business News of Friday, 16 October 2015

Source: GNA

Gov’t supports realistic tariff

Power Minister - Dr Kwabena Donkor Power Minister - Dr Kwabena Donkor

Dr Kwabena Donkor Minister of Power has reiterated government’s position to encourage the setting of a realistic and attractive tariff to stem the under-investment in the generation, transmission and distribution of utility services.

In a speech read on his behalf at the Sixth Annual General Meeting of Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo), the Minister said the financial losses being made by the utility companies are "good money" that could have been re-directed into running the companies more efficiently.

Dr Donkor congratulated the Board and Management of GRIDCo for providing leadership in the power sector by staying focused, despite the challenges the sector was experiencing.

GRIDCo Board Chairman, Alhaji Huudu Yahaya, said despite a very challenging year of power supply deficits, GRIDCo continue to engage in activities, which would ensure the creation of a robust and resilient National Interconnected Transmission System to serve the growing demand for electricity.

Alhaji Yahaya noted that the power supply deficits were occasioned by gas and crude oil shortages, plant breakdown as well as plant shut downs for maintenance, which affected the total volume of energy transmitted.

The challenges brought to the fore, the need for GRIDCo to maintain stronger partnerships with stakeholders in the power sector in order to find lasting solutions to the energy crises.

He GRIDCo is continuing its journey to transform itself into a High Performing Organisation.

He stated that the Balance Scorecard (BSC), an integrated strategic planning and performance management system, dubbed "The GRIDCo Way," had been initiated.

This was aimed at ensuring a build —up and advancement in professionalism in order to enhance service delivery across the grid.

Mr William Amuna, Chief Executive of GRIDCo, explained that the company had experienced significant cash flow challenges in 2014 and had recorded a net loss of GH? 41.5 million.

The cash flow challenges arose mainly because of the generation deficit and cash flow challenges from some bulk customers.

The macro-economic indicators in the country, such as the unfavorable exchange rate also increased the company's costs.

As a result, there were delays in the fulfilment of some contractual financial obligations.

Mr Amuna said despite the challenges, GRIDCo is focussing on the delivery of high quality service, by progressively creating more value for the company and ultimately for the shareholder.

He expressed pleasure that despite GRI000's challenges, Ghana had not experienced a total system collapse in 2014, due to several factors, which included the installation of effective Automatic Frequency Load Shedding relays, efficient and well-trained operators, who seamlessly balance generation with transmission.

He said the Smelter II substation, the Sunyani-Mim Line Upgrade, the Ghana —Togo- Benin Interconnection, the Kpandu-Kadjebi Transmission Line, the 330kV Kumasi-Bolgatanga line and the 225 Bolgatanga-Ouagadougou Interconnection as some of the major projects undertaken by GRIDCo in the year.

GRIDCo had also initiated the process required to obtain the Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series Certification which was an important step in Occupational Health and Safety Assessment.