Business News of 2014-03-18

Comment: The electricity load-shedding blues

Shedding the load of electric power in the country is becoming a permanent canker. This is evident from the unending power cuts that consumers have been experiencing over the years.

After making electricity consumers wonder what was causing the frequent power outages in the last couple of months, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) last Friday announced that it would come up with a timetable this week to manage the power challenges facing the country.

At a joint press conference organised by the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum and power companies in Accra on March 14, the Director of Operations of the company, Mr Tetteh Okyne, said the measure had become necessary in view of the shortage in electricity supply.

According to the ECG, by the beginning of this week, the programme may be published on its website and in the newspapers. This announcement is long overdue because it is good for the company to update its customers on what it is doing and plan an appropriate timetable to guide them.

This is necessary because it will allow corporate institutions and industry to plan their schedules to prevent the unnecessary disruption of their operations due to the numerous unannounced power cuts.

There have been instances when industrial machines and other equipment have developed major faults because of the power cuts and these have brought untold hardships on industry owners who are forced to lay off some workers in their bid to cut cost.

What the ECG and the sector ministry need to know is that electricity supply is a major component for production and the lack of it will have telling consequences on not just the economy but corporate and industry owners.

Unreliable supplies also affect investor confidence in the country and it is against this background that the Graphic Business would want to prevail on the ECG and the ministry to ensure that the load-shedding exercise is conducted in a frank and transparent manner. This will allow users to plan efficiently and avoid any losses that might result from the unannounced cuts.

While this is ongoing, we will urge the ECG and the ministry to ensure that they keep to the timetable to minimise the negative impact on users.

The paper also calls on the various players in the power sector to concentrate their efforts on getting the challenges fixed and stop the public blame game because that is not what consumers of their services want to listen to.

Finally, the Graphic Business calls on the ECG and GridCo to use this load-shedding period to embark on a maintenance exercise so that when the power supply stabilises, there will not be the need to cut supplies to undertake maintenance.

Source: graphic.com
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