General News of Mon, 10 Sep 20184
‘Dumsor’ looms as debt situation at GRIDCo worsens
Ghanaians should start bracing themselves up for another power rationing, popularly known as ‘dumsor,’ anytime soon, as power transmitter, Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) Limited, is being laden with huge debt, Today can report.
‘Dumsor’ became a popular Ghanaian lexicon during the tenure of former President John Dramani Mahama.
In almost his [President Dramani Mahama’s] four-year rule, thus from 2012-2016, Ghanaians had to endure irregular power supply, leading to the collapse of many companies thereby aggravating the economic situation at the time.
And when Ghanaians thought the country was out of the ‘dumsor’ problem after almost two years rule of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government, a policy think-tank, Institute of Energy Security (IES), has warned of an impending erratic power supply, if government fails to, as a matter of urgency, address the debt situation at GRIDCo.
Executive Director of IES, Paa Kwasi Anamua Sakyi, last week noted that it was understandable, the challenges of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) Limited, Volta Aluminum Company Limited (VALCO) and the rest which were unable to pay their bills to the power transmitting company.
Other companies owing GRIDCo, he said, included Volta River Authority (VRA), Great Consolidated Mines, Asogli Thermal Station, Ameri Power Plant, NEDCo, Bui Power Plant, Karpowership among others.
According to him, these companies were also chasing their debtors to offset their obligation with GRIDCo.
A copy of GRIDCo’s statement of account dated August 17, 2018, sighted by Today, revealed that the ECG was one of the major debtors with an outstanding amount of GH¢957 million.
Another main debtor captured in the said report was VALCO with a debt of GH¢29 million.
The two companies succeeded in making part payment, leaving VALCO with an outstanding commitment of GH¢2.5 million while that of ECG stood at GH¢253 million.
The two companies, according to the statement, were also named in another document titled: ‘Issues affecting GRIDCos Financial Performance.’
Part of the document said, “current capital ratio for 2014,2016 and 2017 are 1.85, 1.00 and 0.98. The declining current ratio confirms the high receivables held by ECG and VALCO and weak liquidity support.”
“GRIDCo is also reeling under pressure as a result so we are not surprised at the development,” the IES boss told journalists.
He noted that the inability of ECG to pay its bills was a clear indication that it also has challenges ”so both companies will struggle to distribute power as they should.”
Mr Anamua Sakyi said the major challenge facing the country currently had to do with power distribution.
“Knowing very well that GRIDCo has power challenges in terms of their outdated and inefficient distribution equipment, they will require enough funds to retool themselves and make their system of distribution more efficient,” he said.
The IES chief revealed that “because of the inefficiency in the distribution network, we have power losses of more than 8% currently. So, there is the tendency that if they are unable to get their equipment right and retool, then, of course, there could be a nationwide blackout.”
To this end, he urged the energy ministry to step in as soon as possible to resource the two companies to avert a revisit to the power rationing days again.