More than 350,000 customers of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) are expected to directly benefit from improved electricity supply following the commissioning of the Pokuase Bulk Supply Point (BSP) in the Greater Accra Region.
The Pokuase BSP, considered the largest in the country, will improve the quality and reliability of power supply in the Pokuase, Kwabenya, Legon, Nsawam and the outlying communities.
The project will also lead to a significant reduction in technical losses along the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) transmission system and ECG’s power distribution networks, thereby improving the financial viability of the utilities.
The $64.7 million project, described as the largest of its kind and the most technologically advanced in the country, was funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
It was executed in a record period of 18 months in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The components of the project are the construction of the 33 kilovolts sub-transmission station lines to evacuate power from the Pokuase BSP onto the electric distribution network and the erection of new sets of Quadruple Circuit Steel lattice towers to move power from Pokuase BPS to ECG’s Primary Sub-station in Ofankor, Kwabenya and Nsawam.
At the commissioning ceremony at Pokuase yesterday, President Akufo-Addo said the project offered an assurance of stable power supply and also reminded Ghanaians of how far they had come from the days of widespread power outages and the phenomenon of “dumsor”.
He said those days came with so much discomfort, inconvenience and brought businesses to their knees, describing that era as “truly dark days, literally speaking, and we must continue to keep them behind us”.
The President explained that as a country that aspired to industrialise to guarantee a decent quality of life for its people, it must ensure access to stable, efficient and affordable power supply.
“Electricity is no longer a luxury. But rather in this age a basic necessity. We must commit ourselves to working hard and ensure that we achieve universal coverage in this country as soon as possible to spur economic growth”, President Akufo-Addo added.
President Akufo-Addo noted that beyond the Pokuase BSP, the government was carrying out other projects to meet the increasing power needs due to population spikes and the nation’s industrial agenda through initiatives such as the One-district, One-factory policy.
He announced that work was ongoing on the Kasoa BSP, which would be the second largest bulk supply point and once completed, it would address voltage and frequent power outage challenges caused by increasing domestic and industrial demand at Kasoa, Senya Breku, Bawjiase and Nyanyano.
He indicated that the $50-million project, also funded by the MCC under the Ghana Power Compact programme to be completed in the coming months, would benefit more than 240,580 ECG customers and contribute to substantial reduction in transmission losses in GRIDCo’s transmission system.
President Akufo-Addo added that the national transmission backbone, under construction from the coast to Bolgatanga, had a gap between Kumasi and Kintampo which had since been completed a few weeks ago.
“Completion of this portion of the Kumasi/Bolgatanga transmission line project will ease the load on Kumasi sub-stations, and become the instrument of power transmission within the Ashanti, Ahafo, Bono and Bono East Regions, and in parts of northern Ghana.
“In addition to this is the ongoing Tema to Accra transmission line upgrade project to accommodate an increase from 161KV capacity to 330KV capacity,” he added.
The President commended the professionalism and diligence of the various stakeholders in the construction of the Pokuase BSP project.
The US Ambassador to Ghana, Ms Stephen S. Sullivan, said the bulk supply station would drive increased economic activities which would benefit families, businesses and communities, describing it as a flagship investment.
She added that the MCC did not only provide the funding but also worked closely with local partners to implement the projects and ensure the needed structural reforms accompanying the new investments.
She added that the MCC was working in Ghana to reduce poverty through economic growth with the provision of a grant of $316 million through the Ghana Power Compact programme. It was doing that with implementing partners at the Millennium Development Authority and in partnership with entities such as GRIDCo and ECG.
A Deputy Minister of Energy, Dr Amin Adam, stated that negotiations on power purchase agreements with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) were underway to ensure that the taxpayer got value for money.
He said with renewable energy, the ministry continued to make strides towards ensuring viability in the country’s energy mix and secure the integrity of the environment.