A former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana’s leading power producer, Volta River Authority, Erastus Alexander Kalitsi is urging the leadership of the Authority to take the lead in promoting development of solar and wind energy in the country’s generation mix.
Mr. Kalitsi also expects VRA to continue to play a significant role in the West African regional market by continuing to supply electricity to Togo and Benin through Compagnie Electrique du Benin (CEB), Burkina Faso, as well as through a vigorous interchange with Cote d’Ivoire.
“As the structure of the power sector has changed with the participation of Independent Power Producers and introduction of key sector players like Energy Commission, GRIDCo, NEDCo and Bui Power Authority, and with the drastic increase in demand for electricity over the years, I expect VRA to continue improving the operational and financial efficiency of its generating facilities,” Mr Erastus Alexander Kalitsi said in an exclusive interview published in the Energy Ghana Magazine.
“Now relieved of some of its former responsibilities by IPPs, Bui Power and GRIDCo, VRA should focus greater attention on its non-power responsibilities under the VRA Act. These will include matters related to Reservoir Lands, the rump of Resettlement issues, Lake Research Studies, Lake Health and commercial development of Fisheries and Water Transport,” he added.
Mr Kalitsi played a key role in the construction of the Akosombo Dam.
He was appointed Chief Executive of the VRA on January 1, 1991, and served in this role until July 1998 when he became Chairman of the VRA Board.
The Authority, under his leadership, persuaded the government and society to support the injection of thermal facilities into the generation mix of the country, and successfully mobilised financing and built its first major thermal plant of 330MW at Aboadze in the Western Region.
He also led efforts to attract the first-ever purely private power company, CMS Energy of Michigan-USA, to partner VRA and invest their own capital in expanding VRA’s thermal facilities to 550MW.
This was 50 percent of the combined generating capacity of the Akosombo and Kpong dams. To achieve this level of success, the attributes required are hard work, probity, diligence and respect for individuals whom one needs to relate with.
Currently, the VRA, under the leadership of Ing. Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa, is constructing 17 MW Kaleo/Lawra Solar Project located in the Upper West after commissioning 2.5MW Solar Power Plant in Navrongo in 2013.
It is also executing the 60MW Pwalugu Hydropower Multipurpose project.