General News Sat, 24 Mar 2007

Power cuts to continue

VRA and ECG commence new load management programme
Accra, March 24, GNA - The Volta River Authority (VRA) and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) would commence a new load management cycle of four days, effective Wednesday March 28, 2007.

Under the four-day cycle, customer groups will go off once during the day for 12 hours and once during the night for 12 hours after which the cycle will be repeated.

A statement issued by the VRA and ECG on Saturday said the load management programme had been reviewed as part of the strenuous efforts to manage the current situation following the acceptance of the recommendations made by the VRA and ECG to the government. It said the programme would be reviewed every two weeks to monitor the impact of the measures being taken and appropriate changes made where necessary.

"It would be recalled that on August 26, 2006, VRA and ECG announced a load management programme with the primary objective of arresting the depletion of the Volta Reservoir and facilitating its recovery," the statement said.

Regrettably, it said, the Volta lake level had continued to drop at a higher rate than expected and it was at an elevation of 237.78 feet as at today, Saturday, March 24, 2007.

It said the VRA and ECG had continued to address the current situation in order to secure normal supplies to all customers and as part of the process, government had actively collaborated and provided support to the two utilities with the procurement and installation of some emergency power plants located in Tema.

Out of this, the first 50 MW had been installed and was being tested prior to commencement of operations by the end of this month with the remaining 86MW would be brought into service by the end of April. The statement said the immediate objective of the VRA and ECG for all these actions was to ensure the little water left was stretched through to the end of June when the major rainy season in the Volta reservoir catchment area would commence.

It said without this intervention, the Akosombo Hydro station would be shut down before the end of April and called on consumers to intensify their energy conservation activities.
Source: GNA
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