Ghana to become W. Africa’s power pool by 2021

Ghana is to become the centre of excellence for electricity transmission engineering training for the West Africa Power Pool by 2021.

The estimated 2.6-million dollar project “Human Resource Development Infrastructure Plan Establishment for Ghana Transmission System,” to be funded with a Korea grant aid to Ghana, would be hosted by the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi.

It is a collaboration between the Government of Ghana, through Ghana Grid Company, and the Korea International Co-operation Agency(KOICA).

The General Manager of the Korea Electricity Power Corporation(KEPCO) Academy, Professor Choi Young-sung, who disclosed these on Tuesday, said the Korea International Co-operation Agency(KOICA) was inviting bidders for the project which would commence next month.

Giving an overview of the project to Ghanaian technocrats on a visit to the KEPCO as part of a training course in the Republic of Korea, Prof Young-sung disclosed that the project had been structured into three phases.

He said the first phase scheduled to begin next month would be completed in 2017 and would involve an initial training of trainers of 20 engineers on – shore and off- shore on the power system, substation, and application of Information and Communications Technology.

He said the initial work would also involve survey and data collection and analysis of the current power structure, training system, training levels and training needs in the country, as well as transmission system and the organisational expansion plans.

Prof Young-sung said the second step of the project, involving construction of lecture halls, dormitories, cafeteria, laboratory, procurement and installation of- state-of the art equipment, would be executed between 2017 and 2019.

The third step covering transferring training centre operation knowhow, he said, would involve the development of curriculum and textbooks for advanced   courses to be run by the centre, to be implemented from 2019 to 2021.

The General Manager of the KOICA Transmission Abdication Team, said once the Centre became operational, it would help to build the capacities of Ghanaian electricity transmission engineers to effectively and efficiently manage the transmission systems in Ghana and also serve as the resource centre for the West Africa Power Pool.

He traced the establishment of the centre to the initiative of the Chief Executive Officer of GRIDCo, William Amuna, who was at the Academy for a training programme and mooted the idea for such a facility in Ghana which was adopted for implementation.

Giving further perspectives about the project, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Power, Solomon Atiim Asoalla, said it had been envisaged that there might be transmission challenges after the energy crisis had been fixed hopefully by the end of the year.

“We envisaged transmission challenges, and we need to start now to build capacities to forestall any future challenges with transmission, “he said.

Mr Asoalla enumerated a number of short, medium and long term plans for the resolution of the energy crisis facing the country, expressing the optimism that there would be much improvement in the supply of energy in Ghana by the end of the year.

The Ghanaian chief directors were conducted round the state of the art facility of the KEPCO training academy which had so far offered training to 146 Ghanaian engineers and power managers, through collaboration with GRIDCo and KOICA.

The Chief Director of the Office of the President, Libero Bazaa Tusoe, on behalf of the team, expressed appreciation to the Korean government for its technical co-operation and grant aid, saying that such support would be put to good use for the benefit of Ghanaians.

He praised the collaboration between the governments of Ghana and Korea for the proposed establishment of the facility in Ghana to help build capacities in electricity transmission.

Earlier, the team was briefed on Korea’s experience on Public Private Partnership(PPP), as Ghana was also in the process of developing its PPP regulatory framework to leverage private capital to fill in the infrastructural gap estimated to cost 1.3 billion dolars each year for the next decade.

The team also paid a working visit to the Gangnam Resource Recovery Facility for the treatment of waste into energy……………………

From Salifu Abdul-Rahaman, Seoul

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