23 November 2012 – The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has identified poor power supply as the topmost constraint to growth of businesses in Ghana. This is as on-going load shedding negatively impacts upon Electricity Company of Ghana’s (ECG’s) network infrastructure.

Robert Dwamena, director of procurement at ECG, told the Daily Guide of Ghana that the frequent power outages had weakened most of ECG’s network equipment such as transformers and switchgear.“Our equipment is not designed to be switched on and off like we do currently and this is sometimes responsible for unplanned outages due to unit trips from the generation and transmission sites.”

The irregular power supply, which is expected to end in the first week of December, emerged as a result of a damage caused to the West Africa Gas Pipeline (WAGP) by a vessel in August 2012. WAGP’s gas supply to Ghana’s Volta River Authority (VRA) is used to generate electricity from its thermal plants.

“Because we are subjecting the equipment to frequent on and off activities, we are hastening the ageing of this equipment. We therefore need to retire this plant, which will also affect the availability and quality of electricity supply,” Dwamena says. “These assets would require a quick replacement within a very short time. This also has placed a huge financial burden on ECG.”