You are here

Board Chairman's Address at 10th Anniversary Durbar

GRIDCo Press

 

BOARD CHAIRMAN’S ADDRESS AT 10TH ANNIVERSARY DURBAR
GRIDCo climaxed its 10th Anniversary Celebrations on, August 1, 2018, on the forecourt of the National System Control Centre. The Board Chairman, Amb. Kabral Blay-Amihere, addressed the august assembly of dignitaries and staff alike. A copy of his address is below:
 
“Exactly 10 years to today, August 1, 2018, GRIDCo commenced operations as the nation’s main transmission utility company, having been established out of the Volta River Authority, then responsible for both power generation and transmission.

The core mission of GRIDCo then and today has been one of serving as the Backbone to Power Delivery in Ghana and the sub-region.
To achieve this goal, we have in our first decade worked assiduously to modernize the national grid and extend it to emerging load centres. We have in the process increased the number of substations we inherited from the Volta River Authority by 17 and also added about one thousand (1000) circuit kilometres of transmission lines.
We have also during the same period worked successfully to eliminate obsolescence within the National Interconnect Transmission System. We can today speak of a robust, reliable and secure interconnected system having expanded our transmission infrastructure and added high voltage 330 kV transmission lines.
The substations and transmission lines have been connected to a state-of the art System Control Centre from which we are able to get a live feed into our network at a glance. This has helped GRIDCo to improve supply reliability to our customers.
We can report as we celebrate our 10th Anniversary that we have enhanced the existing transmission interconnection between Ghana and our neighbours, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo and Benin which we inherited from the Volta River Authority. In progress for commissioning is an additional 330 kV interconnection to these countries. As we speak, Ghana today has a new 330 kV interconnection with Burkina Faso.
The purpose of all these initiatives is to ensure GRIDCo fulfils its responsibilities to the nation and also becomes a net exporter of power. In this regard we are taking steps to facilitate power export transactions between VRA, IPPs and customers outside Ghana.
To ensure that GRIDCo remains on top of its responsibilities and as part of internal measures towards Research and Development, we launched in 2014 the Systems Measurands Publisher (SMP) which has largely assisted our staff responsible for operating, maintaining and managing the transmission network to be constantly updated on the state of the National Interconnected Transmission System as well as the demand-supply balance within the electricity supply industry.
Local Content Initiatives
Guided by the national policy of ensuring and promoting local content initiatives, our company in its first decade has taken modest steps in that direction.
To promote job creation in communities through which our transmission lines run, GRIDCo outsources Transmission Line Right-of –Way (ROW) bush clearing and access roads maintenance activities to local companies. Indeed, in the last six years, our initiative to outsource the Vegetation Management and related Right-of-Way management works and other service-related contracts to Ghanaian firms have impacted on job creation and earnings for a large number of firms across the country, particularly in the rural areas where most of our transmission assets are located.
At another level, GRIDCo under a “USD20 million Substations Upgrade Project-Local Initiative” contracted Ghanaian companies to work on its expansion works at the Konongo, Kpeve, Sogakope, Aflao, Yendi and Ayanfuri substations. These companies proved their worth. We intend to continue that collaboration.
 
Collaboration with Partners
GRIDCo recognizes the existing synergies in the power sector and has always sought to collaborate with other players in the sector. In this regard, GRIDCo with its partners, VRA and ECG as well as the regulatory body, Energy Commission has since 2010 published the Annual Electricity Supply Plan which provides an outlook of power demand and supply for any particular year taking into account all the committed projects and existing generation sources. Many decision makers can attest to how useful this report has proved in their planning, monitoring and evaluation.
 
Ten Year Generation/Transmission/Master Plans
Another publication by GRIDCo-(2011-2026) Generation Master Plan Study for Ghana is a guide to the private sector in particular and all stakeholders as to the direction that the expansion of generation infrastructure should go. The 15-year plan helps stakeholders and decision makers determine the optimal technology options and installed capacity reserves needed to reach the required system reliability level. To complete this plan, we have also rolled out a 10-year Transmission System Master Plan to serve as a road-map for all new investments into the transmission network. With innovations in the sector, it has become necessary for GRIDCo to review this plan and other existing plans to reflect developments in the sector.
 
Business Sustainability
GRIDCo, as some of you may be aware of has over 3000km of Optical Ground Wire which when put to effective usage can be a source of revenue to the company. In this regard a new business unit, Grid Telecom Company, GRIDTel commenced operations in January, 2017. GRIDTel has since then obtained the required licence from the National Communication Authority, (NCA) to build and operate a National Terrestrial Fibre Network. Services that GRIDTel provide will suit the unique requirements of current and prospective players in the Telecommunication sector. GRIDTel when fully operational will achieve two things: create employment opportunities and also earn revenue for GRIDCo.
 
Recognition
As we mark our first decade, we can proudly state that our modest strides have not gone unnoticed. Among several awards and recognition are:
·         Excellence in Power Transmission or Distribution Award, 2015 & 2016, 2nd and 3rd West African Power Industry Convention
·         Best Company in the Energy Sector, 6th AGI Industry and Quality Awards, 2017
·         Outstanding Corporate Partner Award, 2018 Annual Audit and Governance Conference
·         3rd Best Organization, 2013 Ghana Employers’ Association Awards
GRIDCo could have not have attained these feats and remain the backbone to power delivery in Ghana and beyond without the hard work and commitment of our staff, past and current board of directors, the support of our numerous partners, local and external, financiers and of course the support of the Government of Ghana.
It is therefore proper as we celebrate our 10th Anniversary that I express on behalf of the Board, Management and Staff of GRIDCo our very sincere gratitude to all those who have helped us to reach this far. We must place on record the support we have received from successive Ministers of Energy; for our Board, the current sector Minister, Hon. Boakye Agyarko and his Deputies, the Energy Commission and the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC).
 
Outlook and Challenges
This is certainly not the hour and place to narrate in full the challenges and difficulties GRIDCo as a growing institution has faced in its formative years.  GRIDCO like others in the energy sector such as our parent organization, VRA; Bui Power and ECG has faced and still faces its fair share of the many challenges.
But we approach the next decade in spite of our common and unique challenges with every determination and resolve to make the next decade a better one for our customers. Our goal remains one of serving as the Backbone to Power Delivery in Ghana and the sub-region.
We have worked in this regard with various sub-regional organizations under ECOWAS to develop and launch a Regional Electricity Market that will enhance trading in electricity in the sub-region.
This sub-regional market imitative among others including the establishment of a National Wholesale Electricity Market, which GRIDCo is working on, falls into our vision of exploiting business opportunities in the sub-region, reinforcing our position in the West African Power Pool (WAPP), providing grid consulting services to utilities in the sub-region as well as pursuing quality standards as part of our external relations and obligations.
We accept fully our strategic position in the energy sector and shall be motivated and guided at all times by our mission to serve as the backbone to power delivery without which the development agenda of the Government of Ghana would remain a mirage.
To paraphrase what a former Chief Executive Officer of GRIDCo, (William Amuna) said recently at an international gathering of power companies, THERE IS SUCH JOY AND SMILE WHEN ELECTRICITY REACHES WHERE THERE WAS ONCE NO ELECTRICITY, THE SAME JOY THAT WELCOMED THE CREATOR’S PRONOUNCEMENT THAT “LET THERE BE LIGHT” AND “THERE WAS LIGHT”.
We pledge on our anniversary to make our people happy and our industries work with reliable, sustainable and secure power supply.
 

I thank you for your attention!”