As part of his ongoing working-visits of State Enterprises, the new Executive Chairman of State Enterprises Commission, Hon Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, on Wednesday, 20th June 20, 2017, visited two places.
First was the Volta River Authority, VRA, where he was briefed on workings of, and as always, challenges confronting the entity. The discussion which was led by the Acting CEO of VRA, Mr. Emmanuel Antwi Darkwah, took Hon Asamoah-Boateng and his team through the history of VRA from the date of its inauguration to present.
Mr. Kofi Ellis (Director, Planning and Power Business of VRA), who did the actual presentation, said VRA was established in 1961 by Act 46; and was mandated to produce 912MW of electricity, when the need of entire country at the time, was 50MW. This therefore made it difficult to get funding for the project, and that was where Kaiser came in with funding and built VALCO at Tema to take 300MW.
Mr. Ellis further said “as a result of government’s determination to increase our energy stock to meet demands, the Kpong Dam was built in 1982 which pushed our national capacity to 1,072MW. And to ensure constant supply of electricity from the Akosombo Dam in its 40th year, comprehensive retrofitting was carried out in the year 2001″.
Delving further into Ghana’s current energy stock, Mr. Ellis said “national installed energy capacity is 4,361MW while peak demand is 2,335MW. Practically, therefore, there should not be power outages but we have been having these problems largely due to transmission problems and issues with liquidity in purchasing light crude since the current national energy mix is 36% hydro and 64% thermal”.
On his part, Hon Asamoah-Boateng outlined his vision for the Energy sector within the broader framework for all State-owned Enterprises. He reiterated his plans to “migrate the key operation of the Commission, which is ensuring performance targets are achieved, onto a digital platform where it can easily be accessed and assessed, and to eliminate cumbersome paper trails”.
The next point of call, which was the Ghana Irrigation Authority, [GIA], Hon Asamoah-Boateng was briefed by the CEO, Dr. Ben Nyamadi, on various action plans his outfit has put together to ensure Government’s One-Village-One-Dam policy is given the needed impetus. He said his outfit, under the directive of World Bank, undertook a restructuring exercise which led to retrenchments in 2015. He said his outfit is well-poised to making great contributions to Ghana’s agricultural drive.
Hon Asamoah-Boateng, on his part, lauded the efforts of Dr. Nyamedi and his team, and promised to do whatever is in within his authority to ensure his outfit is well-resourced to enable them carry out with their officially-mandated role.