A meeting to start the project for the provision of two power barges with total capacity of 450 Megawatts was held among stakeholders on the premises of the Ministry of Energy in Accra yesterday.
The meeting tackled all outstanding issues that would pave the way for the arrival of the two emergency power barges before the end of 2015.
Issues handled included acquisition of all licences, permits and approvals from relevant authorities, technical and contractual commercial agreements, among others.
It also spelt out the roles and responsibilities of the key stakeholders, as well as discussed the project implementation schedule and other project management issues.
The power barges are expected to augment electricity supply to all parts of the country.
The Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Mr Emmanuel Kofi-Armah Buah, led the meeting, which comprised officials from Karpower International (the company constructing the power ship), the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).
Officials from the Volta River Authority (VRA), the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Energy Commission, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), the Ghana Maritime Authority, the Ministry of Transport and the Ghana Navy also attended the meeting.
In a brief remark, Mr Buah said the government was committed to ensuring that Ghana met its 5,000 MW capacity in 2016.
He said Ghana’s energy demands were increasing and for that reason the government was stepping up efforts to meet those demands.
Mr Buah indicated that Ghana was poised to produce 300 million cubic metres of gas in the next 20 years.
He was particularly happy with the progress of work on the power barges and added that “the people of Ghana deserve to have constant and uninterrupted power supply and we are poised on delivering on that”.
The acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Energy, Mr Solomon Asoalla, said the ministry was embarking on several options to make sure Ghana got enough power for domestic and international consumption.
Karpower International representative
The Regional Director of Karpower International in charge of Africa and Asia, Mr Patrick O’Driscoll, said the company was working diligently with all the key stakeholders to complete the project on schedule.
Answering questions from journalists, Mr O’Driscoll said Karpower would bear the cost of constructing the power ships and sell the electricity to Ghanaians.
He said the company would have an initial engagement with the government for 10 years.
As a strategic measure to ameliorate the power generation deficit caused by reduction in thermal generation due to low gas supplies and equipment unavailability, the government has contracted Karadeniz Power Group/Karpower of Turkey, a renowned global power ship manufacturing company, to manufacture two emergency power ships.
Under the arrangement, Karpower International Ltd is expected to pay for the full cost of the power ships and operate them in Ghana as an independent power producer (IPP) in Ghana to augment the country’s power generation capacity.
The power ship has a dual-fuel (heavy fuel oil or natural gas) engine technology to ensure complete fuel flexibility.
Its design encompasses a combined cycle operation which would ensure that the highest efficiencies are achieved in order to deliver maximum MW output.
The two would be strategically located in Tema and Takoradi for immediate deployment, to provide emergency continuous electricity in the country.
After a number of technical and commercial due diligence meetings and negotiations in Turkey and in Ghana early this year, works have commenced on this project and currently in advanced stages following the construction of the first 225MW power ship.
Other critical activities such as marine and civil works for the location of the ship, construction of power transmission corridors and incoming substation are ongoing.
It would have taken three to four years to put up a power plant but this project would take less than 16 months to complete.