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02.03.2012 General News

Give Us Report On Nationwide Outage - PURC

By Daily Graphic
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A 24-hour ultimatum has been issued to the Volta River Authority (VRA) and the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) to submit a technical report on last Sunday’s nation-wide power outage to the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC).

The ultimatum was issued by the PURC after an emergency meeting with the VRA and GRIDCo to deliberate on the irregular electricity supply in the country lately.

After the submission of the report, the PURC will carry out investigations into the erratic power supply and apply sanctions if it becomes necessary.

The erratic supply of power in recent times has been attributed to shortage of gas supply from the West African Gas Pipeline project which has also interrupted power generation at the Sunon Asogli Power Plant, an independent power producer.

The situation has affected residents across the country and some industries and manufacturing firms.

The closed-door meeting, chaired by Dr Emmanuel Kweku Annan, the Chairman of the PURC, was attended by Mr Moses Asaga, the Minister of Employment and Social Welfare; Mr Kweku Awotwi, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the VRA, and Mr Charles Darku, the CEO of GRIDCo.

Also at the meeting were Mr Kofi Ellis, the Head of Planning and Business Development; Ms Gertrude Koomson, the Public Relations Manager, and Mr Abdul Wahab, a senior engineer, all of VRA.

The Head of Public Relations at the PURC, Nana Yaa Jantuah, said the VRA and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) had been tasked to collaborate and publish load-shedding schedules as part of immediate steps to ensure that consumers were fully equipped with adequate information on the activities of the two institutions.

She told the Daily Graphic in an interview after the meeting that the PURC expected information on the load-shedding schedule to be available to the public by Friday and on any day that the exercise was to be carried out.

She indicated that officials were also reminded that the general operations of utility services to consumers had been unsatisfactory.

“The non-availability of information on details from the two providers has seen the commission witnessing general complaints from consumers, who sometimes do not even know whether the blackouts are as a result of load shedding or response to faults from transmission that need to be worked on,” Ms Jantuah said.

She said officials were made to understand that improvement in the economy called for same in the power sector to consolidate industrial growth.

She said the PURC’s Legislative Instrument (LI) 1935 of 2007 stipulated penalties on utility providers and compensation for consumers who might suffer losses resulting from a fault to the provider.

While calling on the public to address their concerns through the commission for proper redress, Ms Jantuah gave an assurance that details in the technical report would be made available to the public .

Ms Koomson, said officials were satisfied with the outcome of the meeting.

“We are optimistic that the technical report being demanded by the commission will adequately inform its decision in its recommendations to the government,” she said.

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