Monday, December 17, 2012

Ghana’s power company expands network to deliver on services

The customer population and demand for electricity services in the country are increasingly outpacing the response rate of power providers to meet the needs.

In recognition of this rapidity in demand, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) says it is embarking on a number of projects geared towards providing quality and sustainable services to customers.

Managing Director, William Hutton-Mensah, has re-echoed the company’s focus on four thematic areas to ensure profitability and increase customer service delivery.

These include improvement in supply reliability and quality; improvement in revenue collection; improvement in customer service; and reduction in system loses.

According to the ECG boss, as at end of 2011, the level of loses stood at 27.2 percent but reduced to 21.3 percent as at September 2012, through the company’s thorough enumeration of streetlight installations in the country and a scientific approach to loss reduction programme.

Cable theft, he added, also results in financial loss to the company, depriving the ECG of money that could have been invested in putting up additional sub-stations, expanding facilities and upgrading network lines to increase voltage and service to clients.

Mr. Hutton-Mensah concedes the load shedding exercise and other bottlenecks in distribution network have caused inconveniences to consumers in the cause of this year.

He however said the company is not relenting in the provision of quality, reliable and safe electricity services to support socio-economic growth and development, whilst expecting customers to indulge in prompt payment of bills and not in illegal connections.

As part of its resolve to ensure customers get the best of care, the ECG has commissioned a Gh₵1.3 million Ayigya District office complex in the Ashanti region, constructed and furnished from the company’s internally generated fund.

Ashanti East Regional Manager of ECG, Abdulai Kurah, noted that the Ayigya district is the biggest among the seven ECG districts in the regions, serving close to 40 thousand customers in 29 communities in and around Kumasi.

“The colossal amount that we put into this project will go to waste if it doesn’t match a change in our attitude towards our customers in our work; that to us is paramount”, stated Mr. Hutton-Mensah.

According to him, the company has already paid for counterpart funding for the construction of other five district offices and four customer service centres in the Ashanti region.

The projects, funded by donor partners, including the World Bank, have taken off at Abuakwa, New Edubiase, Asokwa, Mamponteng Kwabre and Suame. The customer service centres will be sited at Pankrono, Juaso, Ejisu and Gyinase.

From early 2013, the company will also internally fund the construction of modern storage facilities for the Ashanti East and West regions, which the MD said will ease access to installation materials.

“By the end of next year, we hope to get to a situation in this company where all materials, including meters, will be available at our district stores so that as soon as a customer pays his or her capital contribution for a new service or separate meter, there should be all the requisite materials ready at that particular district for that service to be done” assured Mr. Hutton-Mensah.

This, he said, will be in addition to construction of a second bulk supply point for Kumasi, injection of transformers on the network, upgrading of sub-stations in the region and construction of offices for the Obuasi and Konongo districts, as well as plans to build other facilities at Asante Mampong, Bekwai, Dunkwa, Offinso, Agona and Adansi-Asokwa.
 
“We want to assure our cherished customers in Ashanti region that we as a company hold the fact that we want to ensure that they get better service from us and because of that we’re embarking on these projects and hope to do more of them in the coming years”, the ECG Manager said.

Mr. Hutton-Mensah urged company workers to uphold high professionalism in their relations with clients as ECG promotes its corporate vision to be among leading power distribution companies in Africa.

Story by Kofi Adu Domfeh

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