Business News of 2014-01-02

GRIDCo, power producers gear up for increased demand

Demand for electricity in Ghana increased to an all-time high of 12.38 per cent in 2013, growing from the 2012 peak of 1,728.9 Megawatts (MW) to 1,942.9MW at the close of last year.

Over the last four years, however, the average year–to-year growth in demand for electricity has been 9.67 per cent, the Chief Executive of the Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo), Mr William Amuna, said in an interview.

The peak demand for 2011 was 1,664.3MW, a 10.52 percentage growth over the 2010 demand of 1,505.9MW. The acute shortfall in generation in 2012, as a result of the rapture of the West African Gas Pipeline, resulted in a demand growth of 3.88 per cent.

He said the construction of new substations and the upgrade of existing substations in the last four years had resulted in a 55 per cent increase in transformer capacity from 2200 MVA to 3400 MVA, and the addition of over 200km of 330kV high voltage transmission lines.

These investments in the transmission network have relieved the system of its bottlenecks and ensured quality supply to consumers.

Growing demand

Mr Amuna said demand was growing and current projections indicated that the country’s requirements for electricity would hit 2,764.2MW in 2015.

“This increasing demand for electricity is being matched with new generation supported by the government through the Ministry of Energy, the Volta River Authority and some Independent Power Producers (IPPs),” he added.

He said GRIDCo had held several discussions with new power producers with the view to putting in new substations and additional transmission lines to transport power, adding that preparatory works were already on-going

The GRIDco chief executive said to help evacuate power from emerging generation plants, the GRIDCo Substation in Aboadze would be expanded and a new 330kV double circuit transmission line would be constructed from the substation to Kumasi through Prestea.

This transmission line will continue as a single circuit line to Bolgatanga through Kintampo and Tamale. New 330kV substations will also be built in Kumasi, Kintampo, Tamale and Bolgatanga.

Mr Amuna assured the nation that GRIDCo was working hard to develop a robust and resilient transmission system that would continue to transport quality electrical power to customers in 2014 and beyond.