The Government of Ghana yesterday signed a SDR 30.8 million (US $ 45.0 million) financial agreement with the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank to support the implementation of the 2nd Phase of the Coastal Transmission Backbone Project of the West African Power Pool Project (WAPP).
The project which is expected to ensure stable and reliable power supply in Ghana and the entire member countries of the West African sub- region would provide a mechanism and institutional framework for integrating the national power systems of member state.
It consist of an extension and modernisation of the Akosombo Generating Station Switchyard, construction of a 3rd Bulk supply Point in the Accra / Tema Load Centers as well as the upgrading of the Volta River Authority's System Control and Data Acquisition Centre at Tema.
Other areas include the rehabilitation of the cranes and penstocks at the Akosombo generating stations, Procurement and installation of modern circuit breakers and relay at the Kpong Generating Station Switchyard and the supply of equipments, simulators, training modules and human capacity development at the Volta River Authority's training school.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu disclosed that, 'the terms of the credit are standard to all IDA projects', indicating that government is committed to ensuring continued and reliable power supply.
He said government within the medium and long terms has instituted a 220MW gas turbine plant, agreed to install an 8450 MW gas power plant, and has signed an agreement to operationalise the Osagyefo Power Barge by March 2008 as well as cut sod for the construction of the Bui Dam.
The Minister called on the officials of the Volta River Authority to provide a secure, safe and reliable supply of energy to meet the developmental needs of the country in a competitive manner, and urged consumers to use electricity wisely and promptly pay approved tariffs to help sustain the operations of the Electricity Cooperation of Ghana and the VRA.
The Deputy Minister for Energy Mr Kwame Amporfo Twumasi expressed gratitude to the World Bank and assured that the funds would be used for the intended purpose.
The Country Director of the World Bank, Ishat Diwan commended the government of Ghana for its leadership role in regional projects and the spontaneity in making the project a reality worth emulating.