The Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) on Monday, 30 December 2019, disconnected power supply to the Volta Aluminum Company Limited (VALCO), following the failure of the aluminium smelter to settle over US$30 million outstanding debt to the power transmitter.
The decision was made by the management of GRIDCo after several attempts to get VALCO to honour its payment obligations failed, a statement issued by the transmitter said.
“The disconnection is part of ongoing debt collection measures to mobilise the needed funds to support its operations”, GRIDCo noted.
GRIDCo said its operations have been” significantly impaired due to huge unpaid debts owed by its bulk customers, currently amounting to over GHS1.2billion”.
At its recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) in November 2019, the company announced that its network expansion efforts have been hampered due to the current financial situation.
Jonathan Amoako-Baah, Chief Executive of GRIDCo said: “We play a critical role in Ghana’s power sector and we need every resource available to us to continue delivering on our mandate to our key stakeholders and clients. VALCO’s debts continue to mount and will create major problems for our operations if nothing is done about it. We have been engaging the management of VALCO since the first half of this year to agree on a payment plan but nothing has come out of it. We have been left with no option as our continued state of affairs is unsustainable. We take the opportunity to entreat other customers indebted to GRIDCo to take steps to settle their debts.”
GRIDCo is a leading power transmission company in West Africa. It operates the Ghana Wholesale Electricity Market and provides electricity transmission services in Ghana and West Africa. Since its inception, GRIDCo has continuously ensured reliable supply of affordable electricity to households by continuously upgrading and extending the grid and the introduction of modern systems in compliance with IEC 61850.
As a result, access to electricity in Ghana has increased from 66.7% (2009) to 82.5% (2016). The increase in electricity access has resulted in increased income, improved trade balance and the provision of local solutions. It has also contributed to industrial development and new job opportunities in the sub-region.
In West Africa, GRIDCo has established inter and intra connections with countries to the North, East and West of its boundaries, as part of the West African Power Pool System and has positioned Ghana as a Net-Exporter within the sub-region.