A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

ECG worried over cutting of underground cables by road contractors


26 July 2015, Accra – The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has made a passionate appeal to road contractors and other people whose work has to do with any kind of digging along the roads to contact the Company for maps indicating the routes of the underground cables. This is to avoid damaging the cables while carrying out excavation works.

The appeal has become necessary considering the extent of damage caused to the underground cables in recent times and its consequential effect on both the company and the customer. Whenever a cable is damaged, it results in power outage to customers and this, coupled with load shedding, extend the outage hours for which customers have to stay in darkness.

In recent times, customers have experienced outages not as a result of the load management but rather damaged to the underground cables through excavations mostly during road contraction period.

Speaking in an interview with the paper, Mrs. Theresa Osabutey, Senior Public Relations Officer of the Tema branch of the ECG explained that this is one of the challenges the Company encounters mostly during construction periods.

She said recently, customers within Baatsonaa, Spintex, Lashibi and its environs had to go without electricity for some days when a contractor working along the Ashiaman – Nungua stretch punched one of the underground cables supplying power to these areas.

The Region had to convert the underground cable to overhead before all the affected customers could be brought back on supply. The Company, she said, had done a lot of looping in the network such that customers, who are affected in the case of a fault, could be transferred quickly to other feeders for supply.

However, when the load to be transferred is huge, it puts a lot of stress on the feeder that is supporting which when not well managed can also give way.

In the light of the load shedding, the Company in mitigating the plight of customers ensures that annual and planned maintenance works are done during the outage times as much as possible, and faults that occur in the system are rectified while the load is transferred onto other feeders. All this is aimed at minimizing the impact of the outage on customers. Working on punched underground cables, sometimes takes more than a day to mend as it must first be located.

Advising the general public, Mrs. Osabutey reiterates the appeal not only to road contractors but also to drivers who drive articulators and big tracks which are likely to pull down the conductors. They are to report to any ECG office close by should it happen so as to work on the fault as early as possible. Road contractors should also endeavor to contact ECG for the maps on the cable route to guide them while excavating and in some cases ECG will assign a cable Jointer to assist.

To the general public, she asked that members should do well to call the ECG call centre on 0302-611611 to report on any fallen conductor to avoid any fatality especially now that the rains are here with us.
*Richard Attenkah – The Chronicle

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