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President hails private sector involvement in power generation



By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
 
President John Mahama has hailed the private sector's involvement in power generation in the country, saying the involvement of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in the sector has brought a lot of improvement.
The president said this when he inaugurated a 165 MVA substation wholly financed by the  Enclave Power Company,  which is  the first private sector owned substation in electricity distribution in Ghana.
Congratulating the company for taking the bold decision to join the energy  sector, President Mahama said the participation of the company in power distribution in Ghana is  consistent with Government’s objective of ensuring reliable power supply to industrial as well as domestic consumers for the socio-economic development of Ghana.
‘Enclave Power is a private entity and has the concession to distribute power in the Free Zones enclave and they have been doing this since 2009,’’ he noted.
President Mahama explained that allowing private sector participation in concessions and the distribution of power does not mean government is privatising the  Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).
 ‘‘ECG is still a 100% government owned entity and will remain a 100% government owned entity but nothing in our regulations stops private sector participation in managing concessions to distribute power to customers and give them efficient service than we have had in the past,’’ he explained.
He said private sector participation in many areas hitherto monopolised by government is being encouraged. This, he said is leading to increased investment from the financial sector and the capital market and it is introducing efficiency into the operations in those sectors.
He promised that government will continue to partner the private sector to ensure that reliable power is supplied sustainably for the development of the country.
 ‘‘The power supply challenge we are currently going through is affecting both industrial and domestic activities. And as Ghanaians have been informed, we are working tirelessly to ensure that we address these challenges sooner than later. We are making progress in overcoming the power gap. Increasingly power is being fed into the grid and over the last few weeks at least some 200 new megawatts have been fed into the system. We will continue to increase the power that is being fed into the system until the gap is eliminated,’’ he stated.
The Enclave Power sub-station was designed by a team of Ghanaian engineers  with  the actual construction work carried out largely and predominantly by a Ghanaian work force, working alongside engineers from China, Bulgaria and India. The cost  of the  construction  of  the substation is estimated to be about  US$35 million. 

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