Accra, Ghana — (METERING.COM) — March 10, 2009 – The prepayment metering program in Ghana will be expanded as the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and Northern Electricity Department (NED) continue with the implementation of projects aimed at significantly improving their operations, the country’s finance and economic planning minister, Kwabena Duffour, announced in his 2009 budget presentation last week.
Other projects to be undertaken by the two utilities will include upgrades of the low and medium voltage networks, including the construction of additional primary substations, and the construction of call centers to enhance customer service operations.
Duffour said that during 2009 the energy sector will roll out a program for the government’s “Energy for Growth” agenda. Key elements of this agenda include increasing the power generation capacity up to 5,000 MW, increasing access to electricity to all households, implementing power sector reforms, and reducing the cost of electricity production to achieve lower tariffs.
Among a comprehensive line up of projects in these areas Duffour said that access to electricity would be expanded to more than 1,100 communities under the National Electrification Scheme, while connections would be supplied to around 75,000 new customers under the Ghana Energy Development Access Project.
Energy efficiency will also be improved with the implementation of energy management and efficiency projects in public institutions and public education on energy conservation.
Power sector reform will continue with the preparation of a National Electricity Grid Code, energy efficiency standards and labeling for refrigerators and freezers, and a Renewable Energy Law.
In addition steps will be undertaken to improve the long term financial viability of the country’s power utilities and to reduce the government’s budgetary allocations to their capital investment programs. While the details are to be worked out this will include a re-capitalization and will also effect full transfer of national transmission grid assets from the Volta River Authority to the new Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCO).