Good morning ladies and gentlemen of the media,
The Electricity Company of Ghana called this press briefing to explain the recent distribution challenges and assure our customers and the general public that the outlook for the future is bright according to our suppliers, and that we have also strengthened our distribution system enough to ensure we deliver quality, reliable and safe electricity services to our customers.
Admittedly, we have taken note of series of outages in some areas within our distribution system, but we wish to state as a matter of fact that it is not load shedding. Some of the areas we encountered these challenges were: Sowutuom, Gbawe, Mallam,Ofankor, Kasoa, Baatsona, Spintex, Sakumono.
We have so far rectified the faults. Whilst others that require installing additional transformers are currently, on-going. Example is Oryarifa Township within our Dodowa district.
Let me take this opportunity to explain the reasons behind outages in our system:
1. Planned Maintenance Schedules: Like any other machine which needs to undergo regular maintenance, ECG has a schedule for regular maintenance of its transformers. In this case, ECG causes announcements to inform its customers and the general public about the maintenance prior to the shutdown. Since we have control over the planned maintenance, we are able to inform customers when we intend to commence and end the work. Example: The shutdown at Mallam Bulk Supply Point.
2. Pre-emptive Maintenance Works: This is where we have to shut down a sub-station, whether it is a Bulk Supply Point (BSP), a Primary Sub-Station, or a Secondary Sub-Station, to quickly rectify a fault so that it does not degenerate into worse situations leading to fire outbreaks or destruction of equipment. In emergency situations, where a fault is identified which needs immediate shutdown of the system, it is very difficult to inform customers prior to the shutdown. We only communicate an apology after customers are already off.
3. Planned Outage for Project Works: This type of planned outage is where ECG undertakes project works to improve the distribution system or network. It can take the form of replacement of obsolete equipment or network, installations of transformers, and extension of power supply. This type of planned outage for project works can sometimes extend to weeks before the project is finally completed. Again, the timing of the outage; switching it off in the mornings and on in the evenings, can easily be misinterpreted as a load shedding exercise. With this particular exercise, it is very easy to inform customers of what ECG is doing to improve the distribution network to customers. Some of our recent completed projects are:
4. Outages caused by third party contractors: E.g. Road construction, tree felling, etc.
5. Outage Due to Faults/Accidents: Outages of this nature are inevitable in the power distribution system. For your information, we are managing and maintaining 28 Bulk Supply Points, 101 Primary Sub-stations, 21,000 Secondary Sub-stations, and almost 70,000km of overhead network system, etc. Faults may develop in any of these installations, whether by force majeure (acts of God), accidents, etc. Fortunately, we have the SCADA system on our High Voltage lines, BSPs and Primary Sub-stations, so our Sub-transmission control room monitors, and automatically gets informed of outages. However, faults that occur at our Secondary Sub-stations and on the Low Voltage Distribution lines are not automatically communicated to us by the system. This is where we encourage our customers to inform us of the outages they experience.
Plan of Action to Reduce the Outages
- A decision to complete all planned maintenance works by the middle of November this year. Example aligning the maintenance works.
- ECG to deploy more 3rd party contractors to assist clear trees interfering with our overhead lines as soon as possible.
- Position engineers at strategic locations to promptly attend to emergency calls to shorten the intervention time.
- Re-schedule non-critical projects to reduce outages currently being experienced.
In conclusion, we wish to assure the general public that we have put in place adequate measures to give them satisfactory service. Cherished customers should therefore take note of any observance of outage pattern that is unacceptable and quickly report to the ECG by visiting our customer service centres or district offices, calling our hotline 0302 611 611, visiting our website on www.ecggh.com, or informing us on our digital handles; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, for a quick intervention.