Ghana seeks more local power participation

Ghana will extend the local content policy to the power sub-sector to encourage more local participation, the Minister for Energy and Petroleum, Mr Armah Kofi-Buah, has disclosed.

The move aims to ensure that Ghanaians and indigenous businesses participated in power generation, construction works and allied services to encourage transfer of skills and prevent capital flight.

Mr Kofi-Buah said consultations were already taking place on the policy, with a caravan visiting regions to take inputs, as was the case of the Local Content and Local Participation Policy in the petroleum sector.

The power sector is large, comprising generation, transmission and distribution that attract a lot of investments. Currently, the Energy Ministry is implementing the Ghana Energy Development Programme (GEDAP), a multi-million dollar programme to revamp the distribution infrastructure of the sub-sector.

To facilitate such a huge outflow into the sector, the government deems it appropriate to encourage local participation for skills transfer and retention of funds in the local economy.

The energy minister said in line with the government’s effort to achieve universal access to electricity by 2016, a total of 1,566 communities would be connected to the national grid to close the gap from 75 per cent access to 80 per cent.

Last year, more than 1,000 such communities were connected to the grid under the Rural Electrification Project.

Mr Kofi-Buah is hopeful that once electricity tariffs are being scaled up, it would attract investors to add to the generation capacity which is expected to reach 5,000 megawatts by 2016, saying; “when we get the tariffs right, we will get investors to come in.”

Some management and operational functions of the Electricity Company of Ghana would also be decentralised. This would, for instance, ensure audit of electricity losses under a district or region and not account for losses as a wholesale phenomenon.

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