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ECG Celebrates 50years. +++ 50 Years of Powering the Socio-Economic Growth and Development of Ghana

Speech Delivered by Ing. Samuel Boakye-Appiah, at the Launch of ECG's 50th Anniversary

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SPEECH DELIVERED BY ING. SAMUEL BOAKYE-APPIAH, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF ELECTRICITY COMPANY OF GHANA AT THE LAUNCH OF ECG’s 50TH ANNIVERSARY HELD ON 5TH FEBRUARY, 2018 AT ECG/VRA CAFETERIA IN ACCRA, GHANA

 

Mr. Chairman

Hon. Minister of Energy

Hon. Deputy Ministers of Energy

Hon. Members of Parliament

Royal Majesties; Nii Mei, Naa Mei & Nananom

Chief Executive Officers of Sister & Partner Companies

Donors and Development Partners

ECG Board, Former Board Members of ECG

Former Managing Directors and Employees of ECG

Serving Directors, Managers and Employees of ECG

Specially Invited Guests

Friends of the Media

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

On behalf of the Board, Management and Employees of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), I welcome you all to this ceremony to launch ECG @ 50; - the Golden Jubilee Celebration. The Electricity Company of Ghana is 50 years old as a corporate organization. At 50, ECG has entered into its golden years’ era, a milestone worth celebrating. The theme; 50 years of powering the socio-economic growth and development of Ghana, is a crystal reflection of ECG’s mandate of providing quality, reliable and safe electricity services to support the economic growth and development of Ghana.

HISTORY & EVOLUTION

The company’s history started long before the reference year of 1967. We trace our roots from 1914 when the first government-sponsored public electricity supply in the Gold Coast was commissioned at Sekondi under the management of the Railway Administration. This was extended to Takoradi in 1928. Around the same time, the Public Works Department (PWD) had commenced a limited Direct Current (DC) power supply in Accra in 1922. It was immediately followed in November, 1924, by a large Alternating Current (AC) project with its associated installations. From the 1920s through to the 1960s, we operated discrete and isolated Gen-Sets in Accra, Kumasi, Koforidua, Winneba, Agona Swedru, Akim Oda, Cape Coast, Tamale, Wa and Bolgatanga. In April 1947, the Electricity Division took over electricity distribution from the Public Works Department and the Railways Administration. The Division operated until the Electricity Corporation of Ghana (ECG) was born in 1967 through a National Liberation Council Decree; (NLCD) 125.

By the time the corporation gained its corporate structure in 1967, portions of the national transmission network had been constructed. ECG therefore, connected a number of towns to the National Grid. The corporate evolution continued in February 1997 when ECG was incorporated as a limited liability company under the Companies Code, 1963 (Act 179) and became the Electricity Company of Ghana Limited. As we mark this golden Jubilee, ECG is going through yet another process of transformation into a more dynamic and formidable market player in the electricity industry, both locally and internationally.

Currently, we operate in the southern part of Ghana across six regions, namely; Greater Accra, Eastern, Volta, Ashanti, Western & Central regions. We now serve over 3.5 million customers as against 81,430 customers in 1967. ECG’s operational area covers a population of approximately 20.6 million people as against about 2 million people in 1967. Fifty years ago, we operated 10 Bulk Supply Points, 24 Primary Substations, 1,200 Secondary Substations, about 30 cct km of distribution network and delivered 618 GWh of electricity. Over the years, we have expanded our distribution network and increased our presence throughout our operational area. We are structured into Seven (7) operational regions, one (1) Strategic Business Unit, 68 operational districts & 15 Business Centers. Our network assets include, 29 Bulk Supply Points, 103 Primary Substations, 21,000 Secondary Substations, a total of 105,000 cct km of low & medium voltage distribution networks and delivering over 12,000 GWh of electrical energy annually. Staff strength was about 600 back then but, today, ECG employs over 6,500 people directly and offers over 100,000 indirect jobs.

Our First Class Training Centre established in 1988 has trained over 4000 ECG personnel in various critical skills necessary for ECG’s efficient operation. This Center has also trained utility service staff from the Military, Hospitals, Factories our sister companies GRIDCo and NEDCO as well as engineers from Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Therefore, ECG has been natured, supported, restructured, developed and encouraged to grow over the years by the Government of Ghana and various stakeholders.

CHALLENGES & ACHIEVEMENTS

Over the past 50 years, ECG has chalked major successes and also gone through various challenges. By far, the worst challenge in recent memory was the protracted power crisis of 2012 – 2016. During the crisis, ECG’s image fell to an all-time low and our distribution network was weakened as a result of frequent switching for load shedding. Our finances suffered because customers reacted to the crisis by not paying their bills. With the necessary political, financial and technical interventions the crisis was resolved last year and ECG is back on its feet.

Over the years, we had to discharge our mandate using obsolete equipment, outdated technology and manual business processes. We are yet to achieve the Regulatory Benchmarks for System Losses and Network Reliability. Achieving Cost Reflective tariffs that is affordable for our Customers remains a major challenge. The unfavorable macro-economic challenges that faced our dear nation Ghana at various times has had it toll on our financial performance.

Mr. Chairman, despite the constraints in our business environment and the major challenges that have confronted us over the past 50yrs there is a lot to celebrate. A significant achievement is the fact that we are a going concern and have survived all the turbulence that has plagued many State Owned Enterprises in the history of our country.

We have achieved significant laurels locally and internationally. We have brought smiles to many homes and communities who turn the lights on for the first time in their lifetime. Our product; – electrical energy, has transformed the lives of various communities. We have kept the wheels of industry running and contributed immensely to the socio-economic development of our dear nation Ghana.

ECG is the best distribution utility in West Africa and rated second in the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa after Eskom of South Africa. We have been an active player within the West African Power Pool contributing in various ways to support the Regional Organization. We provide cross-border electricity to serve our brothers and sisters in neighboring Togo. In recognition of the valuable human capital we have created over the past 50years, Engineers from Aghfanistan were trained by ECG on the recommendation of the World Bank in the last quarter of 2017. During the same period, The Rwandan Electricity Board visited ECG to learn about best Utility Practices.

MODERNISATION PROJECTS & OPERATIONS

As a modern utility, we are automating and digitizing our networks and business processes using the latest technologies in the industry. Our network operations are partially automated at the medium voltage (MV) level. At the primary level, the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) System covers four out of the six administrative regions. The secondary SCADA has been extended to17 District Control Centres throughout our operational regions. With the SCADA system in place, we are able to detect faults quickly and speedily rectify them. Available statistics and customer testimonies show a significant improvement in supply availability, reliability and network resilience.

The recent gains were achieved as a result of the implementation some strategic interventions and capital investment projects. These include but are not limited to the following recently completed and commissioned projects;

    • Shiashie and GIMPA in Accra,  Aburi, Damang, Hohoe, Anloga,
    • Asamankese, Offinso, Barekese, Mampong & Suhum
    • Ejisu, LA (Trade-Fair), Nkawkaw, Osu in Accra, Takoradi “C”
    • Shiashie to 3rd Accra BSP; Kumasi “D” (Kaase) to Kuntunase; Kuntunase to Ejisu Substation; Nmai-Dzor to Adenta; Adenta to Dodowa; Takoradi “C” (Amanfulkuma) to Diamond Cement Factory; Achimota BSP to GIMPA to Shiashie; Barekese to Offinso; Dodowa to Mampong 33kV Double Circuit 2x40 MVA Tower Line.
  • 125km of 11kV Overhead Lines for off-loading of Primary Substations.
  • under the Regional System Improvement Project (RSIP) and Low Voltage Network Improvement Project (LVNIP) last year alone.
  • Under rural electrification, more than 800 townships in the Western, Central, Eastern and Ashanti Regions were connected to the national grid in 2017 alone, on behalf of the Government of Ghana through contracts signed by the Ministry of Energy and managed by ECG.

Encouraged by these positive and modest successes chalked in recent times, we assure our shareholder, cherished customers and the general public that we shall do more in the coming years.

Mr. Chairman, in our quest to bring our services closer to the doorsteps of our cherished customers, we recently commissioned twelve (12No.) Customer Service and Business Centres. They are strategically located at Gomoa Oguaa in the Central Region, Wassa Akropong in the Western Region, North Ridge and Osu Oxford Street in Accra, Juaso and Ejisu in the Ashanti Region, Peki and Dzolokpuita in the Volta Region, Mataheko and Community 21 in the Tema Region of ECG, and Anyinam and Nuaso in the Eastern region. Well trained Customer Relations Executives and Technicians have been deployed in all Districts and Customer Service Centres to offer professional services.

Additionally, our award-winning social media platforms, upgraded corporate website and call centre are all channels through which our cherished customers and the general public can contact us. More importantly, these channels offer opportunities for us to get valuable feedback to help us improve on our services.

We have introduced prepayment metering across our operational area. We are currently migrating our legacy meters to smart Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI). This system has the necessary flexibility and functionality to offer customer-friendly services including electronic vending of prepayment units and payment of electricity bills.  

In the coming years we shall implement various programmes aimed at improving efficiencies in our business processes with the objective of delivering quality service to our esteemed customers as well as creating value for our shareholder. Some of the modernization projects we have commenced installation include Geographic Information System (GIS) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) architecture.

CONCLUSION & COMPLIMENTS

We look forward to the future with optimism. I wish to take this opportunity to assure our stakeholders that ECG will continue to exist as   an electric utility. ECG has not been sold contrary to what others believe.  With the introduction of a concessionaire to invest in, manage and operate our distribution assets, ECG will continue to exist albeit with a different focus. The new ECG will be an active and responsible Asset Owner, will engage in Bulk Energy trading, providing knowledge and skills to support other utilities through consultancy services and an upgraded Training School. The new ECG will also embrace the introduction of renewable energy into Ghana’s energy mix in order to improve reliability of supply to our customers.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Electricity Company of Ghana Ltd, I wish to congratulate all former and serving workers of ECG who have toiled over the years to deliver our mandate of providing quality, reliable and safe electricity services to support the economic growth and development of Ghana. I would like to express my profound gratitude to the owner of the company; – the Government of Ghana, represented by the Ministry of Finance and our sector ministry, the Ministry of Energy, for their enormous support and direction. I also wish to recognize the immense contribution by our development partners, regulators and third party service providers. To our cherished customers, I say a big thank you for your loyalty, custom and understanding through thick and thin all these years.

May the good LORD continue to make ECG greater and stronger in the coming 50 years.

Long live ECG! Long live Ghana!

Thank you and God bless us all.

 

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ECG at 50

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