A Model of Excellence
for Power Utilities in Africa

Ing. I. Kirk Koffi, Chief Executive

Ing. Kirk Koffi is a familiar face in the energy sector and one of the au fait voices on power generation in the country over the past three decades.

The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) trained mechanical engineer has been appionted Chief Executive Officer of the largest power producer in the country-the Volta River Authority.

Having started his professional career with the VRA back in 1982 as a mechanical engineer at the Akosombo Generating Station, he was appointed as Senior Mechanical Engineer from 1986 to 1991

with oversight responsibility for sectional administration and planning of maintenance activities at the 160MW Kpong Generating Station. From 1991 to 1995 he assumed the responsibility Principal Mechanical Engineer for the Akosombo Retrofit Project.

In 1995 Ing. Koffi was promoted to Plant Manager for the Kpong Generating Station, a position he held until 2001 when he was made Plant Manager for the Akosombo Generating Station.

One year later, in 2002, the avid tennis player and a Roger Federer fan was elevated to the position of Director Hydro Generation, with additional responsibilities for the retrofit project.

There was no turning back for the man who describes himself as a family man with a passion for mentoring and imparting knowledge to the younger generation with the desire and zeal to learn. He was eventually appointed the Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Engineering and Operations in December 2008.

In this role, he was responsible for the management of the engineering and operations branch of the Authority; including design, construction, operation of power plants, and the provision of strategic direction to the Engineering branch.

He was part of the Authority's team that helped navigate the country out of the deep abyss of load shedding experienced for the greater part of last year as a result of damage to a section of the West Africa Gas Pipeline in Togo by the anchor of a ship.

His vast experience, in effective use of power and best practices in leadership, is expected to be brought to bear in his new role as the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority.

Kirk has participated in a number of international capacity development programmes including an Executive Development Programme at Stanford and Harvard; Professional Attachment to Ontario Hydro from 1988-1989; and a Canadian Consulting Firm Hatch on a number of engineering projects.

Mr. Koffi finds himself in familiar waters and promise to continue the many projects started by his predecessor, Mr. Kweku Andoh Awotwi.

Chief among them is the completion of the Kpone Thermal Power Project, the retrofitting of the Kpong Generating Station, the construction of two other hydroelectric dams in the Northern Region, as well as the installation of solar panels and wind turbines in designated locations in the country. Part of the vision is to execute the 450MW Domunli thermal project, and provide support for IPPs to add on generation to achieve government's 5000MW target in the shortest possible time.

All these are part of efforts to increase the energy mix and ensure constant production of power.

He shares Samuel Johnson's philosophy that "nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome."

"We need to start in earnest the projects yet to commence and complete the ones on-going as quickly as possible," according to Mr. Koffi.

Kirk, as he is affectionately called by many a friend, says one of the projects that he wants to see realised in the shortest possible time is the availability of the country's own gas supply and more gas from other suppliers in Nigeria for the production of thermal energy.

"We can't totally rely on others for constant gas supply to power our plants. We need Ghana's own gas in order to generate cheap thermal power."

The tennis aficionado says he plays tennis every morning to keep fit and for recreational purposes. "I love tennis and play tennis every morning. My favourite player is Roger Federer and I watch all the major tennis tournaments," he said.

"I love engaging in fecund conversations about how to develop this nation. About how each and every one of us can contribute to making this country a better place to live in."

As Kirk prepares to walk the path of some of the prominent personalities that have led such a noble institution founded at the turn of independence, he praises his predecessors for their immense contribution to the energy sector. He is however, strong-minded to learn from their successes and failures as he leads the Authority to achieve greater heights.

As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, "a person places themselves on a level with the ones they praise."

Having worked with the Authority for over three decades under various leaderships, Kirk is in familiar waters as he leads the VRA into the expectant future.