ECG to reduce power supply to local industries

Ing. Okyne Tetteh(middle)Director of Operations briefing the press on the load shedding.Photo Hannah Nkrumah (3)The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has reduced power supply to industries by 25 per cent with effect from yesterday.

Consequently, the mining and steel industries, have also agreed to step down power usage by the same margin to create room for reserve in the ongoing load-shedding exercise, particularly to residential areas.

The Director of Operations of ECG, Mr. Tetteh Okyne, who announced this at a news conference in Accra yesterday, said the decision was arrived at after a series of meetings with captains of industry and other stakeholders.

The decision, he said, became necessary looking at the erratic nature of the power situation vis-à-vis the load-shedding exercise.

Mr. Okyne said the exercise would be monitored to the end of December, noting that effective systems had been put in place to monitor the situation, and either to sustain or reverse the decision, depending on the availability of power.

At the moment, Mr. Okyne said per the new arrangement, industries would receive six days of power supply and two-days off supply, while residential areas, would experience 24 hours of power supply and 12 hours of outage.

Unfortunately, he said, findings had revealed that 80 per cent of industries were cited in residential areas, whereas the remaining 20 per cent were located in industrial areas.

In such instances, he said, those located within residential areas might suffer looking at the current exercise of 24 hours of power supply and 12 hours off as against six days of power supply to those located in the industrial areas, and urged owners of companies and industries to consider locating or relocating their companies to industrial areas.

Mr. Okyne said that, the continuous siting of industries in residential areas puts a lot of pressure on the feed and transformers meant to power those areas.

He explained that, essential institutions such as hospitals and security institutions are exempted from the ongoing load-shedding exercise.

The situation, he said, required commitment of all to salvage the situation by ensuring that customers conserve power by putting appliances off when they are not in use.

“It is a situation that we all have to sacrifice and let things work by ensuring that we use power judiciously, and when necessary,” he said.

He said companies along the Spintex Road, recently had to suspend operations for two weeks because of the irregular power supply, which automatically affected their operations and profit margins.

Similarly, ECG had also suffered in terms of revenue from customers, and warned that industries that failed to adhere to the rules would be sanctioned by taking them off the line.

“The arrangement is to bring some relief and stability in the power situation,” he said.

The Head of Public Affairs of the Company, Mr. William Boateng, expressed worry about under-cutting and illegal connections, saying such acts put lot of stress on transformers and power lines.

“It also contributes to poor electricity supply to premises, risk of fire outbreak on premises and has the tendency to damage electrical appliances among others,” he said.

When contacted on the effect of load shedding on industry, the General Manager in-charge of Administration at Printex, Mr. Moses Zizer, was not happy with the new arrangement.

According to him, apart from spending a colossal amount of money to buy fuel to power the generators, his outfit had to use three days to repower the plants, because “after putting the plants off vis-à-vis the use of fuel, it takes days to bring it back”.

“It is a real challenge for industries to comprehend as far as the load shedding is concerned,” he said.

By Francis Asamoah Tuffour   

 

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