Minister for Energy Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh has praised the initiative to honour stakeholders who have played key roles in the energy sector of the economy.
He said bringing all stakeholders together to recognize those individuals and corporate bodies whose efforts have played a critical role in the nation’s agenda of a robust, secure, affordable, and stable energy sector is highly commendable.
Dr Opoku Prempeh popularly referred to as Napo stated these at the fifth Ghana Energy Awards held in Accra last Friday.
The Minister who is also the Member of Parliament for Manhyia South Constituency in the Ashanti Region used the opportunity to pay tribute to the Energy Media Group and GP Business Consulting, partners for organising the event.
Dr Opoku Prempeh noted that one of the most active conversations in recent time was how to employ digitalization to improve the lives of Ghanaians and build a better society.
“Indeed at the recent widely-acclaimed public lecture at the Ashesi University by His Excellency Alhaji Dr. Bawumia, he revealed that digitalization plays a very important role in the energy sector of our economy”, he added.
Dr Opoku Prempeh maintained that this is being done through better efficiencies, reducing the risk of corruption, and promoting convenience in the sector.
He said President Akufo-Addo’s vision is that in the 21st century, Ghana should be able to take advantage of the innovative tool of digitalisation to power and propel our economy in every way possible.
He argued that in the energy sector there are so many opportunities to employ digitalization and help drive the economic fortunes of the country.
“That is why I am delighted to note that the theme for this year’s awards is ‘Digitalized Energy Sector: The Key for a Resilient Economic Future,” he added.
He commended the organisers for such an important and relevant theme to serve as a point of reflection and engagement.
Dr Opoku Prempeh said the government continues to introduce digitalization in the downstream and upstream petroleum sectors as well as the power sector.
“We’ll continue to make progress in driving innovative digital solutions not just to improve efficiencies but also to better mobilize revenues,” he stressed.
He recalled that in the downstream petroleum sector, in April 2021, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia launched the National Petroleum Authority’s (NPA’s) National Retail Outlet Fuel Monitoring System at its head office in Accra.
He stated that under this digital system, NPA was able to monitor the fuel in the tanks of all Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) in Ghana in real-time.
He said this makes it virtually impossible for OMCs to receive illegal fuel from sources such as bunkering and smuggling activities in the country.
“The system was based on a state-of-the-art supervisory platform which includes the installation of Automatic Tank Gauges (ATG) and Forecourt/Dispenser Transaction Control System that will provide data on sales and in-tank volumes at the forecourt.
“The fuel monitoring for filling stations is also a comprehensive system that monitors fuel in the underground tanks and fuel sold at each pump,” he said.
He noted that in the upstream sector, the following digital innovations have been employed:
1. The Ghana Petroleum Register: This is a digital platform where one can access information on the award of blocks, current petroleum agreements, and contracts in the upstream petroleum industry. It was launched in February 2018 in accordance with Act 919 to enhance transparency in the upstream petroleum sector.
2. The Local Content E-Portal System: This digital platform allows for companies operating in the upstream petroleum industry to submit their local content plans and reports in real -time. This enables the regulator to track the local content progress of our country and also assess local content compliance by companies in accordance with LI2204, he noted.
He reiterated that in the power sector, the government in September this year launched a Meter Management System (MMS) for the Electricity Company of Ghana.
Dr Opoku Prempeh noted that the MMS provides a common digitalized platform for the integration of all ECG’s smart prepaid meters for effective monitoring and management.
“This is to reduce commercial losses through effective monitoring of smart meters and replacement of obsolete and faulty ones, and to offer convenience in purchases of electricity everywhere to increase revenue growth,” he said.
He explained that every meter, its location, and consumption pattern can now be tracked and accounted for.
Dr Opoku Prempeh added that this will help detect illegal connection activities, malfunctioning of meters, etc. for prompt rectification.
He said considering the global trends in the energy distribution business, ECG cannot afford to continue the current tangent which is not in tune with trends in the global energy sector.
“Smart meters need smart systems with smart processes, and we are moving from the era where physical inspection is giving way to a more digitalized era in line with the government’s digitalization agenda.”
He added that this government remains focused on digitalization in all sectors as an important catalyst in promoting a resilient economy.
“At the Ministry of Energy, we will continue to collaborate with the relevant stakeholders to ensure that this critical sector employs more innovative solutions to drive the President’s industrialisation agenda in a most effective way,” Dr Prempeh stated.
At the event Former President J.A. Kufuor and late President J. J. Rawlings were honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of their contribution to the development of Ghana’s energy sector.
They each received a citation and a portrait.
Zanetor and Kimathy Rawlings received the award on behalf of their late father.
Mr. Emmanuel Antwi Darkwa, CEO of VRA; and Mrs. Cynthia Lumor, Deputy Managing Director of Tullow Oil Ghana were adjudged the Energy Personality of the Year in the male and female category respectively.
Institutions that were honoured included the Ministry of Energy, which received the Excellence in Leadership and Governance Award of the Year.
GOIL received the Energy Company of the Year Award (Petroleum division), and Bui Power Authority was awarded for Excellence in Power Generation.