fbpx

GRIDCo to reclaim transmission right of ways

BY: Della Russel Ocloo
Mr Awudu Oppong (r) and his team working on the reclamation at Apampatia, near Akwatia

The Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) is to begin reclamation works along its transmission right of ways (RoWs) affected by illegal mining activities.

The reclamation works is to be done by the 48 Engineers Regiment of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to enable officials of GRIDCo to carry out maintenance works along the lines at Nsutem, Anyinam and Akwatia, all in the Eastern Region. It is expected to cost the company GH¢85,000.

Officials of the company and the military are mobilising logistics for the commencement of the works by the close of this week, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GRIDCo, Mr William Amuna, told the Daily Graphic in an interview in Tema.

 In April 2017, GRIDCo suspended maintenance works on some of its transmission lines because of its inability to access routes leading to the grid towers as a result of the activities of illegal miners.

The situation compromised the structural integrity of some of the grid towers.

Mr Amuna said the company ought to conduct an auditing of the lines to check whether they had not developed any serious faults as a result of the suspension of maintenance works.

“We want the critical areas to be reclaimed as quickly as possible, so that we can assess the integrity of the grid towers, as well as their conductors,” he said.

The logistics and resource requirements for the reclamation, he stressed, were draining the company’s resources.

Site visit

A visit to the sites by the Daily Graphic, in the company of security officials of GRIDCo, showed that although the illegal miners had suspended their activities near the transmission pylons, the facilities were still flooded as a result of the diversion of water courses, which had seen the grid towers becoming a holding point for water.

Majority of the transmission conductors (transmission wires) in the affected areas also had mud deposits on them because of excavation activities.

The mud had subsequently changed the silver colour of the conductors to earth brown, a situation the Chief Technical Engineer at GRIDCo, Mr Richard Ghanney, said could contribute to transmission losses.

“The dirt deposits on the conductors as a result of excavation activities cause resistance in power flow, leading to a reduction in voltage in many of the communities, which would likely lead to transmission loss,” he said.

The dirt, he said, could also cause total failure of the conductors, leading to a disconnection of power to communities in the catchment areas.

Miners reclaimed

At  Apampatia, near Akwatia, a group of illegal miners who were arrested by officials of GRIDCo for mining close to the towers had reclaimed some portions of the affected areas.

The group filled the mining pits and ponds that were created between the transmission lines in the area.

The leader of the group, Mr Awudu Oppong, however, told the Daily Graphic that his group never conducted any activities near the pylons prior to their arrest.

“We were only using the area as a thoroughfare to a nearby site that was leased to us by the Akwatia Consolidated Diamonds Limited at a cost of GH¢40,000 when we were arrested by the GRIDCo team and the police,” he said.

He said the group agreed to carry out the reclamation works in the area after an agreement had been reached with GRIDCo when they were arrested, since the area also served as a thoroughfare to the nearby site where they were to scout for diamonds.

Anyinam

At  Anyinam and Nsutem, the course of the Birim River had been diverted, a development which left the pylons in a pool of water, while weeds had overgrown the towers.