ECG explores opportunities in fibre-optic infrastructure

ECG MD Ing. Samuel Boakye-Appiah (middle) speaks to the press

The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) is exploring the possibility of putting up fibre-optic infrastructure with the intention of selling to telecommunication operators and other providers, as part of its new business model.

At a press briefing in Accra to highlight the company’s new business model, the MD of ECG, Ing. Samuel Boakye-Appiah, indicated that the fibre-optic backbone will be open infrastructure. Even though he did not put a timeline to when it will take off, he maintained that they are in talks with investors.

“We are talking of utility telecoms – the trend in the utility business now is to utilise the network assets that we have: we leverage it and install fibre-optic facilities on it for Telco and other service providers to utilise the fibre capacity for broadband services and data and Internet.

“I must say that the existing network that we operate already has some backbone fibre-infrastructure; what is outstanding now is the last mile – the ones that come to your homes and that is what we are looking at. In partnership with other companies, we can carry out this investment and then work out its operations for additional income and another line of business for us,” he told B&FT in an interview during a media encounter.

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According to Ing. Boakye-Appiah, additional business areas the company intends to focus on in the ensuing months and years ahead include consulting services, Telco services, energy storage, micro-grid and renewable generation.

The current ECG is focused on responsible asset ownership, and is bulk energy supplier to PDS and others in the West African sub-regional market.

Furthermore, it is also engaged in monitoring of Concessionaire (PDS Ltd.) as well as the provision of Training, Utility Telco and Consulting Services.

“ECG is a going concern, although we are not directly involved in the distribution of power to individual customers. The company has not been sold,” he explained.

Among others, ECG has an obligation to monitor the assets that have been leased to PDS Ghana Limited, so that by end of the lease period the asset’s current value – which is pegged at GH¢13billion – would not have depreciated but rather appreciated.

The new ECG has set a vision to be the most innovative electricity company in West Africa by 2025, to lead the electricity market in innovation and regional integration in support of economic growth and improvement for the lives of citizens in Ghana and West Africa.

Others have to do with performing effectively as a bulk trader and Export electricity, and know how to in West Africa strengthen the regional electricity market and increase shareholder value through efficiency and sustainable use of resources.

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Ghana’s energy sector has witnessed a major change in power distribution with the introduction of Power Distribution Services Ghana Limited under a Concession Agreement that officially took effect on 1st March 2019.

The Electricity Company of Ghana Limited, which was until then the power distributor in Ghana, has not been sold or taken over.

In August 2014, the government of Ghana signed the Compact II with the Millennium Challenge Corporation involving US$498.2m as the sum of the entire project.

The Compact II fund was earmarked for six energy sector projects, with the largest being the ECG Financial and Operational Turnaround Project (EFOT) which is estimated at US$339.6m.

ECG just completed a historic 30-month PSP journey to usher in the new electricity distributor, Power Distribution Services (PDS) Limited, and handed over its power distribution business to PDS Limited under the Concession Agreement.

Under this agreement, ECG has leased its assets to a private company – PDS Ghana Limited. ECG has therefore not been sold.

In five years, the PDS operational areas will become an open market in which ECG can do business as well.

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