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The power outages that occurred in the western and central parts of Accra were due to the heavy load on the central business district (CBD) substation.
Minister of Energy, John Peter Amewu, who made the disclosure, assured the public that the country is not back to ‘dumsor’, and that areas within Accra experiencing power outages will soon have power.
He said industry players were working to address the challenges and measures were underway to offload some power of the affected areas, which include the central business district (CBD), from its substation to that of the Achimota Substation to ameliorate the situation.
Addressing journalists at the end of a visit to some power stations, including the CBD, Pokuase substation and the Sunon Asogli Power Plant, Mr Amewu said that the power outage was not as a result of low power generation as was being rumoured.
“Dumsor is not back. We have enough power to supply our cherished customers. People should rest assured the recent challenge is as a result of upgrade works aimed at ensuring stable supply of power,” he said.
“We will confront the problem and address it; people can peddle falsehood, but the government is focused on delivering sustainable power supply as a crucial part of the industrialisation agenda.”
Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo), Jonathan Amoako-Baah noted that due to the construction of the Pokuase flyover, some of the transmission cables were removed. Consequently, parts of Pokuase were feeding on the CBD, hence placing a heavy load on it.
"The centre of this old line is at where the flyover will be and the clearance is such that if we don't change it, cars can't pass," he stressed.
Amoako-Baah added that the cables became overly heated because they were placed underground, stating that "when the current becomes high these cables get heated. So when they exceed a certain limit, the station shuts off". He also indicated that there were difficulties from the CBD station to get the power from a tower because his technical team tried sending it underground. In the course of doing that, the transmission lines tripped, so the generator automatically cut off the power in the whole of central Accra on Wednesday, March 13, 2019
"This made the plant see a very high demand, hence the frequency shooting up. This thermal plant is not that robust to keep at that frequency so it also shut down, and in shutting down, it takes most of the load off the lines," he said.
When asked why it took so long to restore power, the GRIDCo CEO said it was as a result of the major work at Pokuase and that the issued would be rectified within five days.
“We are not going to have power cut anymore. We have told Power Distribution Service (PDS) that the station should be limited to a certain level of current. We will take some of the load to the Achimota power station and so some part of central and western Accra being supplied from CBD will hitherto be supplied from the Achimota power station in order for the load on the CBD to reduce,” he said.
At the Sunon Asogli Power Plant, Mr Li Xiaohai, the chairman, told the Minister that at 1900 hours on Tuesday, the day the outage occurred, the plant’s normal frequency of 50 increased to 55 and, as a result, it automatically went off.
“It has not affected the plant and its power generation in any way. The plant is designed in such a way that if it experiences any challenge like what happened, it goes off automatically to protect it,” he added.
He gave the assurance that the plant was sound and ready to produce power once the transmission lines were ready.
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