Gov’t Lauds VRA’s Effort

Mr. Osafo-Maafo speaking at the launch of VRA’s 60th Anniversary celebration.

Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo, has paid tribute to the Volta River Authority (VRA), describing it as a public institution which operates with a private sector mindset.

Speaking at the VRA 60th Anniversary launch in Accra, the Senior Minister said the state power generation company, over the past few decades, has demonstrated resilience in operation and engineering output, while complying with best industry practice.

“I am impressed with your culture of excellence in engineering practice which should be an example for other institutions,” he said that the anniversary launch themed, “Celebrating 60 Years in the Power Business; Our Legacy, Our Future.”

Mr. Osafo-Maafo said public sector institutions are set up to provide service that is largely in the interest of the public; however, the history of the management of such institutions in the country leaves a lot to be desired.

“Most of the state institutions that were set up on the advent of our independence are either finding it difficult to survive or no longer exists… It will be worthwhile for us to find out why the Volta River Authority has survived and also remains relevant and dominant today,” he added.

He said the government through its Energy Sector Recovery Programme (ESRP) is restructuring the sector to bring it into balance by the end of 2023.

“Government is addressing excess take-or-pay generation capacity payment with negotiations still ongoing, GNPC is also in talks with Sankofa to reduce their gas price by as much as close to 15% to reduce sector cost and the Ministry of Finance is currently exploring ways to fund the energy sector gap,” he stated.

He encouraged the VRA to further explore the energy export market in order to help reduce the burden of over capacity on the government.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of VRA, Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa, said the VRA over the past 60 years has achieved many milestones including the development of the first thermal power plant in the country to complement hydro generation and also ensure the reliability of power supply in the country.
“We have sustained the export of power to neighbouring countries of Togo, Benin, La Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso for almost 50 years,” he said.

Mr. Antwi-Darkwa however, noted that as the world moves towards digitization, VRA is preparing itself for the advent of Internet of Thing (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) or any significant technology advancement that will manifest Ghana and the sub-region.
“We see a future in the electric vehicle space. We intend to be the leader in that space therefore we are collaborating with GRIDCO to continue the development of a smart grid in Ghana, to serve as the backbone to the digitization efforts,” he said.

He also congratulated the VRA fraternity for remaining resilient in the face of challenges in the energy sector which has led to the VRA maintaining its market leadership for 60 years.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri