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MiDA commits $212m to reform power distribution sector

The Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) has announced a series of projects and initiatives that will transform and modernise the country’s power distribution sector, following a take-over of ECG by private operator Power Distribution Services (PDS) by February 1.

The Authority is committing some $212million in the third year of the compact toward enhancing the country’s power distribution infrastructure and technology as a strategic decision to turn around operations of the power distributor.

MiDA is currently finalising negotiations toward construction of the biggest Bulk Supply Point (BSP) at Pokuase, which is likely to start by March this year. Another BSP is expected in Kasoa to supplement that part of the country going into the Central Region.

Aligned to that will be the establishment of four primary sub-stations which will feed on the BSPs to be situated at Kotobabi, Korle-Gonno, Achimota and Kanda.

Chief Executive Officer of MiDA, Martin Eson-Benjamin, who disclosed this at a meeting with the media in Accra said: “These are vital investments which, when put in the right places, will improve the quality and sustainability of power in these areas.

“Ultimately, it will ensure that ‘dumsor’ and other power challenges, including power losses, are put in check because we will have more reliable equipment to hold the power.”

MiDA, according to its CEO, is also looking at refurbishing existing power lines at various power stations as a way of tackling the power losses from wastages and illegal tapping.

“There are a lot of power lines intertwining at the various power stations and which are strung over long distances; although these lines carry low voltage power to various locations, they also create a lot of losses.

“Because of the long distance, as power travels on them we lose some amount of it; these are the lines people can steal power from and a lot of wastage takes place,” he said.

Mr. Eson-Benjamin indicated that there are now about 14 different meters that are in used in the country, but they do not interact – a situation that accounts for losses in the system.

To address the situation, he said, MiDA will soon sign a contract for a meter-management system that will coordinate all metering processes.

He added: ““These are the reason we say we want to turnaround the operations of the ECG. These types of interventions have not been available, but once we put them in place, they start to improve the way they can manage their own assets”.

In his overall assessment of the compact programme, Mr. Eson-Benjamin said there have been some expected challenges, but sustained engagements with various industry stakeholders have largely paved the way for its smooth implementation in the years ahead.

“We have used the last two years to engage various stakeholders and implementing entities, and we can say that as we sit here about 60 percent of the job that must go in the pipeline and to be worked on in the third year of the compact will be implemented and move the programme forward in the three years ahead,” he noted.

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