The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has resolved to procure all its cables locally to help grow the businesses of indigenous cable manufacturing companies for them to expand and create more jobs for the populace.
The ECG has also started the process to raise funds to pay off its indebtedness to cable suppliers and other creditors, most of which are indigenous companies, to enable them to expand their operations.
The Managing Director of the ECG, Mr Kwame Agyeman-Budu, who disclosed this in Tema yesterday, said the initiatives were aimed at supporting indigenous companies to grow and contribute meaningfully to national development.
He was speaking to the media after some board members of the ECG had paid a working visit to Tropical Cable and Conductor Limited (TCCL).
The visit was to afford the board and the executive management of the ECG the opportunity to apprise themselves of the operations of the TCCL, the leading cable and conductor manufacturer in the country.
Local Content Policy
Mr Agyeman-Budu said the decision to procure all cables locally was also in line with the ECG’s commitment to ensure that it complied fully with the Local Content and Local Participation Content Regulation (L.I. 2354) in the electricity supply industry.
The regulation was initiated by the Energy Commission and passed by Parliament in 2017 to help increase indigenous equity participation in the electricity supply business.
Among other objectives, the regulation aims at achieving a minimum of 51 per cent indigenous participation in the wholesale supply and distribution in electricity supply and 60 per cent in the supply of electrical cables, solar cells, conductors and accessories, among others.
The regulation is being implemented by the Local Content and Local Participation Committee, a committee established by the Energy Commission.
No more imports
Mr Agyeman-Budu said the ECG was committed to ensuring that the country and the commission met the requirements of the regulation.
Consequently, he said, the company would no longer import cables but procure them locally to help empower local companies to expand.
“So as long as they can manufacture them locally, we are not going to go outside,” he said.
He explained that the resolve to procure cables locally led to the ECG embarking on working visits to the various companies to “make sure that they have the capacity, which they can produce on their own”.
“And we have seen that with our own eyes and we are going to rely on them 100 per cent,” he added.
Beyond supporting local businesses, Mr Agyeman-Budu said, the ECG was also concerned about the need for its suppliers to employ Ghanaians.
As such, he said, the company would continue to do business with other suppliers that met the local content regulation in the areas of employment, sourcing materials and value addition to local materials.
Speaking specifically on Tropical Cable, he said: “I am very impressed because from the employment of Ghanaians to the set-up, the processes and the materials they use, everything is up to standard.”
The Managing Director of TCCL, Mr Tony Oteng-Gyasi, said his outfit had room to further expand and employ more people, but that could happen only when the company was in active demand.
He said TCCL currently had “a lot of idle capacity” and would be excited to expand its operations to meet whatever demand that the ECG would require.
He indicated that the company currently employed 150 Ghanaians, about 70 per cent of whom were engineers.
On the issue of payment by the ECG for cables supplied to it, he said it was ‘a very hard challenge’.
“We are looking to the ECG to find a way to resolve the challenge because the company needs cables and it needs them regularly and timeously. We hope that the ECG will keep its promise of making arrangements to clear the huge amount owed us,” Mr Oteng-Gyasi said.