Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of Energy, has joined the Management of the Volta River Authority (VRA) to immortalise it past leaders by unveiling the life-sized statues of three former chief executives for their significant contributions to the Authority.
The busts of Dr Emmanuel L. Quarty (1966-1980) and Mr Emmanuel A.K. Kalitsi (1990-1998) were mounted at the Akosombo Generation Plant while that of Dr Louis Casely-Hayford (1980-1990) was erected at the Kpong Generating Station at Akuse in the Eastern Region.
They charted the vision of the first President of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, following the establishment of the VRA under the Volta River Development Act, Act 46 of 1961.
The heroes played a key role in the development of the Akosombo Power Station and its expansion, the export of power to Togo/Benin and Burkina Faso, the inter-tie with La Cote d’Ivoire, and the development of the Kpong and Bui hydro power stations.
The rest are the Takoradi Thermal Power Station and its expansion to introduce the first privately owned thermal power plant, as well as the extension of the national grid to the regions of the north among others.
The event forms part of VRA’s 60th Anniversary on the theme: “Celebrating 60 years in the Power Business: Our Legacy our Future”.
Dr Prempeh commended the Management of VRA for the foresight to acknowledge the contributions of the former chief executives to the formation, transformation and growth of the Authority.
“VRA has been critical in the Government’s economic and industrialisation agenda. The Authority has remained healthy and strong to maintain the hydro and thermal plants and other power installations,” he said.
He said government recognised that economic growth, job creation and interventions such as the Integrated Aluminium Industry and One District One Factory could not thrive without the provision of affordable and reliable power supply.
The operations of the VRA, the Minister said, was key in achieving government’s objective of providing reliable and competitively-priced power to support development and the country’s drive as an industrial hub of Africa.
He said the role of Ghana as the host of the African Free Trade Agreement was an important step in the industrialisation agenda and the VRA must not fail to play its expected role to improve the energy sector.
Dr Prempeh urged the Authority to invest in new technology and innovative ideas to respond to the realities and complexities of the 21st century.
Mr Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa, the Chief Executive Officer of VRA, said the Authority had not only sustained its operations since the commissioning of the Akosombo Generating Station, but evolved from hydro power generation to diverse portfolios involving thermal and solar Photovoltaic generating assets.
That diversity, he said, was consistent with that of the global energy industry, in the light of climate change and, more significantly, harness the abundant indigenous supply of solar and natural gas resources for the benefit of all Ghanaians.
“Our energy transformation agenda aligns with the Government’s policy on power sector development, with regard to reducing Ghana’s carbon footprint,” he said.
Mr Antwi-Darkwa said the event was not only to memorialise the past leaders, but also to inspire the present generation to rise up to the challenge of making the ‘New VRA’ a better one, through the ‘BRAISE’ strategy and Business Sustainability Initiatives.
“We will embrace the challenges of the present environment and leverage on digitisation and clean energy to deliver reliable and competitively priced electricity,” he said.
“We are determined to operate the Authority as a public sector institution with a private sector mind-set”.
The families of the former chief executives thanked the VRA for the recognition and honour done them.