GRIDCo, ECG Caught Pants Down Over ‘Dumsor’
…As West African Gas Pipeline Exposes Officials Over Friday’s Power Outage
The West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo) Limited, has distanced itself from assertion that last Friday, July 7, major power outage, recorded in parts of Accra, was as a result of a technical issue from the company.
The company insists the purported technical hitches that caused the power outage cannot be blamed on a shortfall of gas supply from their end, as the electricity transmission and distribution companies want the public to believe.
According to WAPCo, it had absolutely no technical challenge, as claimed by the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG),which resulted in the unexpected power outage, notoriously called ‘dumsor’ in local parlance.
The blackout, which affected many communities in the national capital, including Dome, Kwabenya, Lapaz, Spintex, Abelemkpe, Kwashieman, Mallam, Awoshie, Nyamekye and Hong-Kong, was blamed on a shortfall of gas supply from the Atuabo-based Gas Processing Plant (GPP) and technical hitches from WAPCo.
But the company, in a press statement issued the next day Saturday, July 8, to counter the claims by the ECG and GRIDCo, headed by Samuel Dubik Mahamaand Ebenezer Essienyi respectively, said the situation cannot be blamed on WAPCo, because no such problem existed from their side.
The statement, signed by the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Dr. Isaac Adjei Doku, and sighted by The Anchor, shifted the blame away from the company, stressing their system was still intact and had no issue to warrant the outage.
“The West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited’s (WAPCo) attention has been drawn to press releases issued by GRIDCo, citing gas supply from WAPCo, and from the Electricity Company of Ghana, citing a WAPCo technical challenge as contributing to the power challenge experienced in Ghana last night.
WAPCo wishes to set the record straight that we did not have any technical issues and our facilities were, and still are, fully available to deliver gas,” the one-page statement said in parts.
It added, “WAPCo transports gas based on its agreements with Gas shippers. These Shippers purchase Gas from Gas suppliers, transport the gas via WAPCo pipelines, and sell the natural gas to Gas Off-takers (mainly power companies). When the agreed volume of gas is made available, WAPCo dutifully transports it to the shipper’s customers.”
WAPCo explained briefly that, the power outage was as a result of a problem with the national gas company in the Western Region, and so simply there was no gas to be transported.
“The challenge yesterday was that the Ghana National Gas Company’s plant at Atuabo went down and therefore there was no gas available for WAPCo to transport,” the statement concluded.
Recall that a few hours after no electricity on Friday, power transmitter GRIDCo and distributor, ECG, both issued separate statements in attempts to explain the issues.
GRIDCo, in its statement, attributed the hiccups to a shortfall in thermal power generation as a result of supply of gas from Atuabo and also WAPCo.
Record shows that power was restored a few hours after the blackout.
GRIDCo said the deficit created a supply gap of 650 megawatts at peak time.
“The Ghana Grid Company Ltd, (GRIDCo), the “Operator” of the National Interconnected Transmission System informs the general public that there is a deficit in thermal power generation due to limited gas supply from the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant (GPP) and the West African Gas pipeline (WAPCo).
“This has created a supply gap of 650MW at peak time which will affect consumers in some parts of the country.
“Every effort is being made to restore gas supply from Atuabo. As the situation improves power will be restored to affected customers.
“The inconvenience caused is registered,” a statement from the corporate communications department of GRIDCo said.
ECG, in its statement, also explained its side of the problem and to put it into proper perspective for their cherished customers.
ECG, just like GRIDCo, also linked the problem to challenges coming from Atuabo and WAPCo.
The company also used the opportunity to apologize to its customers, assuring that it is working to rectify the problem.
“The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) apologize to its cherished customers and the general public who are currently experiencing power outage in various parts of the country. This is due to gas supply challenges emanating from a power failure at Atuabo Gas Processing Plant (GPP) and a WAPCo technical challenge.
“As a result of the above, all Asogli phase -1 units, Cenpower and Aksa power plants have shut down leading to a generational shortfall.
“The Ghana National Gas Company has assured that it will resolve the issue as soon as possible. Meanwhile, ECG expects power supply to be fully restored by 9pm today, Friday, 7th July, 2023. ECG regrets the inconvenience caused to the affected customers,” it stated.