Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Ghana’s Energy Minister has said it is President Akufo-Addo’s vision for the country to be able to take advantage of the innovative tool of digitalization to power and propel the economy. For this reason, the government is undertaking several digital innovations to improve efficiencies and better mobilize revenues. The Minister said this during a keynote address at the 5th Ghana Energy Awards in Accra, held under the theme: “Digitalised Energy Sector: The Key For A Resilient Economic Future.”
For the energy sector, particularly the downstream, these digital solutions include the National Petroleum Authority’s National Retail Outlet Fuel Monitoring System, a digital setup that allows the NPA to monitor the fuel in the tanks of all OMCs in Ghana in real-time.
This makes it virtually impossible for OMCs to receive illegal fuel from sources such as bunkering and smuggling activities in their tanks.
The system is based on a state-of-the-art supervisory platform which includes the installation of Automatic Tank Gauges (ATG) and a 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 a comprehensive system that monitors fuel in their underground tanks and fuel sold at each pump.
In the upstream sector, there’s the Ghana Petroleum Register, 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 by Act 919 to enhance transparency in the upstream petroleum sector. The Local Content E-Portal System is also a digital platform that allows 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 the country and also assess local content compliance by companies by LI2204.
For the power sector, the government launched in September this year a Meter Management System (MMS) for the Electricity Company of Ghana. It 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.
Every meter, its location, and consumption pattern can be tracked and accounted for. This thus helps to detect illegal connection activities, and malfunctioning meters, among others for prompt rectification.
“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 for a more digitalized era in line with the government’s digitalization agenda,” said the Energy Minister.
The government, he said, remains focused on digitalization in all sectors as an important catalyst in promoting a resilient economy, adding “that the Ministry of Energy will continue to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to ensure that the energy sector employs more innovative solutions to drive the President’s industrialization agenda most effectively.”