The Volta River Authority (VRA) and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) have revised their load-shedding programme with effect from Wednesday, March 28, 2007.
The new management cycle will be 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.
A statement jointly signed by the acting Director of Corporate Services of the VRA, Ms Abla Fiadjoe, and the Public Relations Manager of the ECG, Ms Gloria Dua-Sakyi, said the programme would be reviewed every two weeks to monitor the impact of the measures taken and appropriate changes made when necessary.
Presently, the two companies shed power for 12 hours every five days.
On August 28, 2006, the VRA and the ECG announced a load management programme, with the primary objective of arresting the depletion of the Volta reservoir and facilitating its recovery.
The statement said regrettably, the level of the Volta Lake had continued to drop at a higher rate than expected and was at an elevation of 237.78 feet as of Saturday, March 24, 2007.
“The VRA and the 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, the government has actively collaborated with and provided support for 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,” it said.
The statement said the remaining 86MW would be brought into service by the end of April, adding that a consortium of mining companies was also developing an 80MW thermal plant in Tema which was due to be inaugurated in June 2007.
Additionally, it said, the VRA was 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 and the ECG for all 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,” it added.
The statement called on consumers to intensify their energy conservation activities by switching off equipment when not in use and utilising appropriate energy-saving devices, such as energy-saving lamps (CFLs) and efficient appliances.
It said a press conference would be held today, Monday, March 26, 2006.