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30.03.2007 General News

TUC, GEA Unhappy About Load Shedding

By GNA

The Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the Ghana Employers Association (GEA) have appealed to the government to prevail on the Volta River Authority (VRA) and Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to review the new load shedding schedule.

VRA and ECG announced a new load management cycle of four days, effective March 28; customer groups will go off once during the day for 12 hours and once during the night for 12 hours after which the cycle will be repeated.

'The new arrangement would have serious repercussion for the operations of industry and most other works which takes place from 6 am to 6 pm.

'This will have drastic and negative impact on the viability of enterprises and the sustainability of jobs,' the two bodies stated in a joint statement issued on Wednesday. Signed by Mr Charles Cofie, GEA President and Mr Kwasi Adu-Amankwah, TUC Secretary-General, it was addressed to the Minister of Energy and copied to VRA and ECG.

'Against this background GEA and Ghana TUC appeal to the VRA and ECG through the government to review the newly announced schedule so that the outages are for 12 hours at night only for two times in every four days cycle.'

A statement issued by the VRA and ECG on Saturday said the load management programme had been reviewed as part of the strenuous efforts to manage the current situation following the acceptance of the recommendations made by the VRA and ECG to the government.

It said the programme would be reviewed every two weeks to monitor the impact of the measures being taken and appropriate changes made where necessary.

'It would be recalled that on August 26, 2006, VRA and 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, it said, the Volta Lake level had continued to drop at a higher rate than expected and it was at an elevation of 237.78 feet as at March 24, 2007.

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