The Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko has cut the sod for a project to improve the quality and reliability of power supply to the Central Business District of Accra.

The Minister said, the project, dubbed “Project for Reinforcement of Power to Accra Central” is a landmark contribution by Ghana-Japan relationship, which dates back to 1920s.

Japanese government provided about US$39million through JICA for the project, which is a 161/34.5kV substation to be constructed at the ECG Station E, located off the Graphic road in Central Accra, expected to be completed in 18 months.

Mr. Agyarko said the project has come at a time when the country was working to increase its generating capacity to address challenges in the power sector.

He congratulated GRIDCo and ECG for the project, which seeks to address the deteriorating quality of power to this very important area of the nation’s capital that contributes immensely to the national economy.

The Minister said electricity demand in the country continues to grow roughly by 10 percent annually, adding that projects such as this and others are welcome to enable the country meet the needs of consumers.

Mr. Agyarko therefore urged GRIDCo and ECG to work with the contractors and consultants and ensure that the project is completed on time.

“This Government’s vision for the provision of a safe, reliable and secure power supply also includes initiatives such as restructuring of debts of the utility companies and securing firm commitments for the reliable supply of fuel to the thermal plants”, he said.

Mr. Agyarko also noted that in Government’s bid to boost the energy mix of the Ghana Power System, efforts are being made to increase the amount of renewable energy in the national grid.

He was hopeful that the partnership between Ghana and Japan under the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will deliver much more value to the country.

The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo), William Amuna expressed his gratitude to the Japanese Government, who through JICA, provided funding for the project.

The project is expected to be completed in the next 18 months and will have a dedicated substation that will supply power to the Central Business District (CBD) and its immediate environs, and also relieve the Achimota and Mallam Bulk Supply Points (BSPs) from overloading.

The focus on the CBD is because it is the highest electricity consuming location in Ghana, constituting about 30 per cent of total consumption in Greater Accra.

Additionally, the load growth in that area is higher than the national average of 10 percent. The year-end projected demand of the area is 1,400MVA.

As part of the project, the capacity of the double circuit 161 kV line between the Achimota and Mallam Substations will also be upgraded from double circuit 282 mmsq conductor line, each with a capacity of 170 MVA to a double circuit twin bundle 430 mmsq conductor line, each with capacity of 488 MVA.

Additionally, a substation control room, system protection, metering, SCADA and communication facilities will be constructed and provided.
ECG on the other hand, will decommission and replace the existing 34.5kV double circuit transmission line between Avenor and the ECG Project Office at Ring Road West with an underground cable.

Relief for consumers

On completion of the project, electricity consumers in Accra Central and GRIDCo will have some relief, and consumers who also depend on Achimota, Mallam, Accra East, New Tema and Smelter II substations will also have some relief because the overload will be taken off.

An outage at the Achimota substation, for instance, results in black out in many areas in Accra and beyond. This will soon be a thing of the past.

Again, consumers who experience low voltages and unreliable power supply in the affected areas will see improvement, while the high transmission losses incurred by GRIDCo will also be reversed.

Some loads being currently served from the Achimota and Mallam Substations will be redistributed to be served from the New Substation.