ECG goes into energy consultancy
The Managing Director of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Ing. Samuel Boakye-Appiah, has revealed that ECG is, among other things, rendering consultancy services in the energy sector of the economy across the West African sub-region after the power distribution was taken over by the Power Distribution Service (PDS).
He said the ECG has over 50 years of experience in the energy sector, hence the need to leverage on that experience to provide the consultancy services.
He was speaking during the opening ceremony of the 2019 AFRICON hosted by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the world’s largest professional association dedicated to advancing engineering and technology for the benefit of humanity on Wednesday 25th September 2019 at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).
The Ghana section of the IEEE is hosting this year’s 2019 3-day conference on the theme: powering Africa ‘s sustainable energy for all agenda: the role of ICT and engineering.”
He said: “ECG’s new business focus as defined in the transaction agreement is that of a Responsible Asset Owner and Bulk Energy Trader. As the owner of the network asses, ECG will monitor the utilization of the network assets to ensure their sustainable use to generate value for the people of Ghana.
“As a bulk trader, ECG is also licenced to sell bulk energy to the Concessionaire and also engage in exporting power to the ECWOAS region.
“In addition to these defined roles ECG is leveraging on its 50 years’ experience and vast knowledge in electricity distribution sector and offering consultancy services in energy support and allied services. In line with modern trends, ECG is exploring the possibility of reusing its power infrastructure assets to establish a utility telco business and also to support the Government of Ghana Digitization Agenda. “
He further stated that “Over the past 50 years, ECG has provided quality, safe and reliable electricity distribution services to support the economic growth and development of Ghana. Currently, with over 85% electricity access rate in Ghana, ECG and her sister utilities, Volta River Authority, GRIDCo and NEDCOc can be proud of our collective achievements. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of electricity penetration rate in sub-Saharan Africa.
“According to a recent Africa Energy Outlook report published by international Energy Agency, ‘More than 620 million people live without access to electricity in Africa and those who do have access to modern energy face very high prices for a supply that is both insufficient and unreliable’.
“The same report adds that, ‘Overall, the energy sector of sub-Saharan Africa is not yet able to meet the needs and aspirations of its citizens’.”
He added: “Africa is rising! Yes But Africa can only rise higher and faster on the back of sustainable energy as succinctly and eloquently captured by the theme for this conference. For sustainability in the energy sector to be sustainable, it must satisfy the following components, namely; political acceptability, economic development, social equity and environment protection and affordability.
“Ensuring sustainability in the energy value chain requires huge capital investments to drive scientific research and technological innovations. With most African governments confronted with competing demands infrastructure projects and social intervention programmes, they are constrained.
“Therefore, the onus of providing the needed capital investments for the development of sustainable energy resources to power Africa’s development is in the hands of private sector.”
He further stated : “Established in February 1967, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) was the public utilities company responsible for the distribution of electricity in the southern part of Ghana.
“As a result of the Compact II Programme under the auspices of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a privet sector participation (PSP) was introduced into the operations of ECG as a concessionaire.
“On the 1st of March 2019, ECG transferred the electricity distribution to Messrs Power Distribution Services (PDS), the concessionaire. PDS is now responsible for managing, operating and investing in the networks.
“Therefore ECG has leased its network assets to PDS and retained ownership of the network assets. I want to reiterate that ECG has not been sold.
“Owing to some transactional challenges the Energy Commission has appointed ECG as the interim operator of electricity retail sales license. The relevant authorities will give direction in due course.
Participants from over 16 countries – Finland, Sweden, Senegal, Slovakia Togo, United States, Germany, Ghana, Botswana, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malaysia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Benin, and South Africa – are attending the conference.