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25.03.2007 General News

New load shedding programme out

By myjoyonline

Beginning Wednesday, March 28, 2007, Ghanaians are to enjoy a further reduction in electricity supplies.

The Volta River Authority and the Electricity Company of Ghana have jointly announced a new load management cycle of four days under which customer groups will go off once during the day for 12 hours and once during the night for a further 12 hours during the four days.

A statement jointly issued by the two companies and signed by their respective public affairs directors announced that a full press briefing on the issues will be held on Monday, March 26.

Below is the statement.

NATIONAL LOAD MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME

The Volta River Authority and the Electricity Company of Ghana wish to announce for the information of all electricity consumers and the general public that the load management programme has been reviewed as part of the strenuous efforts to man the current situation. This follows the acceptance of the recommendations made by the VRA & ECG to Government.

Effective Wednesday, March 28, 2007, we shall commence a new management cycle of four days under which customer groups will go off once during the day for 12 hours and once during the night for 12 hours during the four days after which the cycle will be repeated. The programme would be reviewed every two weeks to monitor the impact of the above measures and appropriate changes made where necessary.

It will be recalled that on August 26, 2006, VRA & ECG announced a load management programme with the primary objective of arresting the depletion of the Volta Reservoir and facilitating its recovery. Regrettably, the Volta Lake level has continued to drop at a higher rate than expected and is at an elevation of 237.78 feet as at today, Saturday, March 24, 2007.

The VRA &ECG have continued to address the current situation in order to secure normal supplies to all our customers. As part of this process, and as stated in the President's State of the Nation Address, Government has actively collaborated with and provided support to our two utilities with the procurement and installation of some emergency power plants located in Tema out of which the first 50MW has been installed and is being tested prior to commencement of operations by the end of this month. The remaining 86MW would be brought into service by the end of April. A consortium of Mining Companies is also developing an 80MW thermal plant in Tema which is due to be commissioned in June 2007. Additionally, VRA is building a 126MW crude-oil fired thermal plant also in Tema due to be completed by the end of August 2007.

The immediate objective of the VRA & ECG for these actions is to ensure that the little water we have is stretched through to the end of June when we expect the major rainy season in the Volta Reservoir's catchment area to commence. Without this intervention, the Akosombo Hydro station would have to be shut down before the end of April.

Meanwhile VRA & ECG once again calls on all consumers to intensify their energy conservation activities by switching off equipment when not in use and utilising appropriate energy-saving devises such as energy-saving lamps (CFLs) and efficient appliances.

A full press briefing on the issues will be held on Monday, March 26, 2007 at 2:00pm at the Conference Hall of the Electro-Volta House.

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