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25.01.2011 Business & Finance

VRA to diversify power portfolio to wind and solar

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January 24, 2011 Accra , Jan. 24, GNA - The Management of the Volta River Authority (VRA) will soon diversify its power portfolio using wind and solar energy, Mr Kweku Andoh Awotwi, Chief Executive Officer of the Authority told journalists on Monday.

Mr Awotwi said management was committed to commercialising all non-power areas of its operations and diversifying into renewable energy to make the corporate entity self-sustaining.

Speaking to journalists at the end of a public lecture organised by VRA in Accra as part of activities marking the 50th anniversary of the Authority, Mr Awotwi said management would make the corporate entity commercially focused to attract investors.

Mr Awotwi said the Authority, by way of diversifying its current portfolio into other renewable energy sources, had engaged the services of a consultant for both wind and solar projects to augment its business activities.

He said management was also committed to harnessing the best opportunities that were available in areas such as the VRA's hospital, schools, real estate, hotels, transport and the Kpong farms, for economic development.

"You know that VRA's hospital is one of the best in the country. We have schools and we need to make the best use of these non-power areas of the Authority's operations," he said.

Earlier at the public lecture, Mr Awotwi said the "healthy" profit VRA used to make in the 1990s turned into huge losses with the introduction of thermal energy operations in the last decade.

He said VRA's losses rose from 300 million dollars to 1.6 billion dollars between 1997 and 2010.

Mr Awotwi expressed worry that the VRA would not be able to benefit from the gas industry if significant regulatory infrastructure was not put in place for gas development.

He expressed the hope that with the support of strong independent transport institutions, well designed market rules and regulations and a careful balance of strategic imperatives with economic fundamentals, Ghanaians would "see a successful and healthy VRA for the next 50 years".

The public forum was under the theme: "Setting the Standard for Public Sector Excellence."


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