Ghana Grid Company limited (GRIDCO) has celebrated its 10th anniversary here in Tema, it was a day of thanksgiving, celebration of achievements and awarding of staff who distinguished themselves in safety throughout the year in their various departments.
The occasion was also considered as a homecoming and saw all former Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of GRIDCO and high ranking players in the power sector gracing the occasion.
The celebration was dubbed ‘Power transmission-10 years on’, and was a month-long celebration with a series of activities which included an interdepartmental quiz, health walks, blood donations, and an Open Day for second-cycle institutions.
Engineer William Amuna, who was immediate past CEO of GRIDCO and a special guest of honour for the occasion, announced that everything has been gone through and by February 2019 the Private Sector Participation will take over the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and commence operations.
The takeover, according to him, forms part of government’s intervention to ensure there is liquidity in the power sector.
He also said the takeover will ensure efficiency in revenue collection, power delivery at its best, and lot more efficiency in management of the general distribution network.
“We are hopeful that if this thing goes through we will make the power sector a better place.”
He further stated: “As we speak now, we are at the final stage of meeting all the conditions precedent to the PSP coming into force in February; and a committee has been set up to ensure that 45 conditions outstanding are met by January 2019 for a smooth take-off”.
Mr. Amuna encouraged Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCO) to extend its operations to the rest of West Africa and beyond, and make their presence felt over there.
“You have all the expertise, and therefore GRIDCO must expand all over West Africa – in Togo, Benin, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Niger, and beyond – and show what GRIDCO is made of,” he said.
He also recommended constant training of staff; management must make staff-training their priority, as it is very important and holds the key to development.
As result, he called for the training school at Kumasi in the Ashanti Region that was unable to see the light of day to be revived and get the staff trained.
Mr. Amuna indicated government is aware of GRIDCO’s financial shortfalls and is putting in place various intervention measures to make sure it achieves the right financial footing in order to undertake its projects.
He urged workers to give GRIDCO all necessary support in this challenging period to ensure the company succeeds.
“To you the workers, we are all aware of GRIDCO’s challenges: this is the time to make sacrifices, strive to make the institution great, and support management in all its activities to make sure projects go on very well,” he said.
Mr. Amuna congratulated GRIDCO for celebrating 10 years of existence and also being for three continuous years the best transmission utility in the whole of West Africa – as well as making a 27-year old dream come to fruition by for the first time transmitting 55 megawatts of power to Burkina Faso, and investing over US$400million in Ghana’s transmission network.
Board Chairman of GRIDCO, Ambassador Kabral Blay-Amihere, said despite the challenges in the power sector they are approaching the coming 10 years and beyond with a determination to remain the best in power delivery in Ghana and the sub-region.
He pledged GRIDCO will continue to serve and ensure Ghanaians’ happiness, and also make sure industries work with a reliable, sustainable and secure power supply.
The Chief Executive of GRIDCO, Mr. Jonathan Amoako-Baah, noted the company was established out of the Volta River Authority (VRA) ten years ago as an independent electricity transmission utility to develop and promote competition in Ghana’s wholesale market, and has chalked-up major milestones amid various challenges.
He said the company inherited a weak transmission infrastructure and core staff – but became an employer of choice, and brought efficiency in power delivery and sustenance in power supply despite the growing demand for electricity.
He sated the company invested heavily in the transmission infrastructure across the network; increased substations from 43 to 60; increased the length of transmission lines from 4,000 circuit kilometres to over 5,100 circuit kilometres.
Mr. Amoako-Baah further stated that in order to respond to faults, world area locations were also increased from 5 to 7, generation stations also increased – resulting in effective power evacuation from these stations, while staff strength also saw an increment from 480 to 947.
“All these efforts have been possible because of the solid foundation laid down by my illustrious predecessors: namely Engineers Joseph Wiafe, Charles Darko and William Amuna, together with the hardworking members of our board of governors who provided the strategic leadership and direction, and the hard working staff who have brought us this far.”
There were goodwill messages from GRIDCO customers, which include Sunon Asogli Power, Valco, Volta River Authority, and the others.
The company also awarded some staff who distinguished themselves in safety throughout the year.