The Minister for Energy, Boakye Agyarko, has cut sod for a project which seeks to improve the reliability and quality of power supplied to some parts of Accra, particularly the central business district of the capital.

The project, which is financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency through a 4.357 Billion JPY (about US$39 Million) grant, is expected to be completed in 18 months, and will provide a dedicated Substation for Accra Central.

This will bring an end to the pressure (overloading) on the Achimota and Mallam Bulk Supply Points of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

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Accra Central was chosen for the reinforcement on the grounds, that it is the highest electricity consuming location in Ghana, constituting about 30 percent of total consumption in Greater Accra. Besides, the load growth in the area is higher than the national average of 10 percent.

When completed,  low voltage and unreliable power supply experienced by power consumers on the Achimota, Mallam, Accra East, New Tema and Smelter II substations of ECG, which extends further to other suburbs at Akwapim Mountains and beyond, will be curtailed.

Currently, an outage at the Achimota substation results in blackout in many parts of Accra. This will also be curtailed when the project is completed. Transmission losses incurred by the Ghana Grid Company GRIDCo will also be hugely reduced.

Speaking at the sod cutting ceremony, Mr. Boakye Agyarko explained that “this Government is committed to providing safe, reliable and secure power supply. Apart from initiatives like this, efforts are made to increase the amount of Renewable Energy in the National Grid.  Other initiatives include restructuring of debts of the utility companies as well as securing firm commitments for the reliable supply of fuel to the Thermal Plants in the Government’s bid to boost the energy mix of Ghana’s Power System”.

The project will extend a 161KV network into the CBD, with the construction of a 161/34.5kV substation at the ECG Station E, located off the Graphic road in Central Accra. Some loads currently served from the Achimota and Mallam Substations will be served by the New Substation.

The capacity of the double circuit 161 kV line between Achimota and Mallam Substations, will be upgraded from double circuit 282 mmsq conductor line, each with a capacity of 170 MVA to a double circuit twin bundle 430 mmsq conductor line, each with capacity of 488 MVA”, Mr. Agyarko added.

The project dubbed “Project for Reinforcement of Power Supply to Accra Central” will also see the construction of a new Substation Control Room, System Protection, Metering, SCADA and Communication facilities.

ECG on the other hand, will decommission and replace the existing 34.5kV double circuit transmission line between Avenor and the ECG Project Office at Ring Road West with an underground cable.

Other dignitaries at the sod-cutting ceremony include, the Managing Director of ECG, Samuel Boakye Appiah, the Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, Naoto Nikai , Country Director and other Representatives of Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Chief Executives of Power Utilities, Consultants and Contractors.

By: Obrempong Yaw Ampofo/citifmonline.com/Ghana