The Power Ministry says it has given the Energy Commission a two-week ultimatum to undertake a nationwide audit of the country’s power transmission network following a fault in one of the transmission lines that led to massive blackouts in a greater part of the country.

Deputy Power Minister John Jinapor, in an interaction with the press yesterday, said the Energy Commission — which acts as a technical advisor to the ministry — will present its report in a fortnight’s time and advise what needs to be done so as to prevent a recurrence of last week’s outage.

Mr. Jinapor, speaking on the sidelines of an exercise to ensure that customers of the Electricity Company of Ghana pay the right tariffs said: “We have tasked the Energy Commission, which is our technical advisor, to do a full systems audit of the network and they are in the process of doing that and they have two weeks within which to complete that.”

The Deputy Minister attributed last week’s blackout to a fault on one of the major transmission lines of the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo), a 330kv line, which plunged nearly the entire country into a blackout.

He said although power has been restored, GRIDCo is in the process of undertaking a complete surveillance of the entire transmission line, and to do that it will have to use a helicopter to acquire such aerial views.

“Fortunately, the Ghana Airforce has agreed to release a helicopter to us. However, due to the nature of the weather — the harmattan is so severe that visibility is very poor — we are unable to lift off with the helicopter. So when visibility improves they will conduct a surveillance of the entire stretch of line,” he added.

Mr. Jinapor, commenting on the exercise to ensure that the incidence of power theft is minimised, stated that a task-force comprising major stakeholders in the power sector — Volta River Authority (VRA), GRIDCo, ECG, and Energy Commission among others — will embark on a nationwide exercise to check the integrity of meters being used by customers.

The Deputy Minister — in the company of Robert Dwamena, Managing Director-ECG; Kirk Koffi, CEO-VRA; and other big-shots of the power sector — joined the task-force as they inspected meters installed at the premises of some industries in the North Industrial Area, Accra.

The task-force visited the premises of Latex Foam, Dannex Limited — a pharmaceutical company, and Fan Milk Ghana Limited. All three companies were given the all-clear as no discrepancies were found on their meter installations.

BY PATRICK KORANTENG