I just woke up to the news that each of the Board of Directors of ECG has been fined some penalty units translating to about GHS 652,000.00 for superintending over a breach of regulation 39 of LI 2413, for not complying with the mandatory 3-day notice to announce a planned outage within a period of about 2 and half months.

I asked, has PURC now woken up from a deep slumber or has always been awake but a mere case of neglecting their duty or better still unraveling an agenda? Anyway, why now? The perfect answer will be that it’s better late than never.

In the absence of the announcements which are supposed to be attached to the response, did PURC even give the benefit of the doubt to prompt ECG on a shortfall of some level of information?

I doubt. Surely, it’s going to be a case of, hurray, we have gotten them. Moreso, when did PURC know that they could sanction the Board Members of ECG for breaching aspects of the LI 2413? Is it also the case that the former board chairman and the current board members are the targets?

Or is it to frustrate the board to resign enbloc so PURC and the powers that be proceed with an agenda best known to them? Or is it a payback time to punish the board of ECG because the PURC feels they have been starved for some time by the purported noncompliance with the Cash waterfall mechanism?

The right answers to the questions above exposes the shocking case of personal agenda but have to be diluted with some cases of public interest to make the case look good.

Has PURC sanctioned GRIDCo for putting off a BSP of ECG without prior knowledge of the latter as a customer? No not that we know of. Can’t PURC be fair and tell Ghanaians the available capacity or deficit and the true state of the power generation situation in the country?

If indeed Why won’t PURC be fair to Ghanaians and provide this information to the customers, they seek to protect? Have GRIDCo board members been fined?

Why will GRIDCo be in an emergency every day to necessitate emergency load shedding even during off-peak time? If emergencies become routine, it means there is a routine problem that is already known by somebody.

At a time Akosombo hydro is at near peak level, with the power exports even curtailed, why still dropping BSPs to save the entire system from collapse as a result of continuous frequency decay? Okay, what percentage of spinning reserve of GRIDCo are we doing?

These are the questions the Ghanaian consumer needs answers to not this distraction emanating from the regulator.

The situation at hand is akin to the situation in 2012 when ECG was being packaged for privatization. The agenda was to make ECG look bad to seek public support for the unpatriotic endeavor. At a time when the picture was so clear the challenges of the power system were as a result of demand exceeding the installed and available capacity of power generation and exposing the real situation as a generation deficit, ECG communication was gagged.

Is it the same thing we are seeing or the same agenda in motion?

To the extent that even CSOs whom we expect to know better are ignorantly or deliberately churning out false figures to make ECG look just bad to push for privatization which some cronies are just waiting to grab.

At least some commitment by ECG and the continuous effort of the management should be hailed and recognized. Being aware that revenue generation is the blood of every business, in the long history of ECG, every staff was pushed out there to compel customers to pay their bills.

Indeed, within the period the medical bill of the company shot up because of the stress staff were put into.

The power App undoubtedly is the most used payment app in the country to mention a few.

At least these are exhibits of the commitment and effort to improve the revenue that should be supported by the regulator and the energy players. What do we hear in the media, none, of these, are ignored and all you hear is biased and unfair criticism.

Can ECG publish a timetable? Why the pressure on ECG to produce one?  This is supposed to be a rather follow-up question. The main question should have been ‘Have the upstream power players informed ECG of the expected deficit? If so at within what period was the request made and when was the loading shedding to be implemented? Kindly note that it takes not less than 30 minutes or more for ECG to fully undertake load shedding giving prior notice that is even if a timetable is prepared.

Why will PURC not impress on the IPPs and VRA to publish the generation available or deficit to Ghanaians? Of course, that is all that ECG needs and the customers are itching for otherwise any action compelling ECG to produce and publish such information is just disingenuous and an exhibition of a lack of understanding of the power system structures in Ghana.

For God and Country.


Source: Ing. Peter Kofi Fletcher