ECG, NEDCo owe GRIDCo: 2.7bn debt threatens power distribution  …as govt takes steps to avoid disruption

The Chief Execu­tive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Grid Company (GRID­Co), Mr Ebenezer Kofi Essienyi, says two major power distribution com­panies in the country, the Electrici­ty Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Northern Electricity Distribu­tion Company (NEDCo) owed his outfit GH¢ 2.7 billion.

A situation he said was impeding operations of the company, espe­cially in the areas of infrastructure development and efficiency of GRIDCo’s operations.

• Mr Ebenezer Essienyi (left) explaining a point to a journalist after the briefing yesterday Photo: Ebo Gorman

Mr Essienyi disclosed this in Accra on Monday when answering questions from journalists on its operations over the past six years.

He openly admitted that the debt was posing a serious challenge to its operations and called for a strategic way to addressing it.

Mr Essienyi said the government was fully aware of the debt situa­tion and had taken some steps to ensure that operations of GRIDCo were not disrupted.

He explained that the debt if redeemed could help GRIDCo to pay compensation to people who had released their lands for it to expand its infrastructure and trans­mission lines.

Touching on progress made by GRIDCo between 2016 and now, Mr Essienyi said GRIDCo had achieved a 99.95 per cent availabil­ity of the National Interconnected Transmission System with fully automated and integrated business processes.

He pegged the country’s energy penetration rate to between 85 and 86 per cent.

The country’s installed power generation capacity was 5,231 MW while the Circuit-km of trans­mission lines was 6,472.23 and this included 69kv, 161kv, 225kv and 330kv with about 70 per cent fibre-optically equipped.

To eliminate congestion and increase transmission transfer capacity reliability he said the company had been rehabilitating key transmission lines including the 161KV Aboadze-Cape Coast-Win­neba-Mallam transmission lines at a cost of $55 million and expected to be completed in 2026.

It was also rehabilitating 161kv Mallam to Pokuase transmission line at a cost of $42 million and would be completed in 2024.

The 161kv middle corridor transmission lines from Akosom­bo-Tafo-Nkawkaw-Konongo-Ku­masi line was being rehabilitated at a cost of $140 million and would be completed in 2025.

On his part, the Director of Fi­nance at GRIDCo, Mr Sammy Nk­ansah, said the debt was incurred due to challenge within the power distribution value chain, with the ECG experiencing some commer­cial losses in its operations.

He said the government in 2020 implemented a Cash Flow Waterfall system, which ensured equitable distribution of revenue collected from customers among the power distribution companies in the country.

The implementation of the sys­tem, he said had helped the power distribution companies to increase revenue collection from 20 per cent to about 60 per cent.

“I believe that if we’re able to build a robust infrastructure and the ECG plugs their commercial losses, the revenue collection rate would go up and be able to redeem the debt.

“It’s a work in progress and we need to work together to resolve it,” he added.


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