Siemens, Atholl Build 75 MW Power
12/20/2007 9:03:10 AM -
The growing confidence of the Ghanaian economy has began attracting investment in the energy sector as Atholl Energy Ghana Limited, in collaboration with the world-renowned Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery Limited, announces a 75 megawatt (MW) gas turbine plant support for the nation.
To this end, the Ministry of Energy yesterday signed a Public-Private Partnership Agreement with Atholl Energy Ghana Limited and Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery Limited for the project to commence in Tema.
While the first phase of the project is expected to commence in February next year and would see the production of 25 MW by April 2008, the second phase, which would generate 50 MW, would be completed in September 2008.
When completed, the gas turbine which can use both diesel and gas is expected to be connected to the national grid. More importantly, it would later be connected to the West Africa Gas pipeline, to source gas when it begins.
CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE gathers that the siemens electrical and mechanical equipment that would be used for the project would arrive in the country by the end of January.
Commenting on this support, the Deputy Minister of Energy, Kwame Amporfu Twumasi said the growing confidence in the economy has triggered the support from Siemens and Atholl Energy, adding that the Ghanaian economy could be growing around 20 percent in the next 10 years. Currently, the economic growth of the country stands at 6.4 per cent.
He said Ghana has put in place various short, medium and long term measures to address the energy shortfall that confronted the nation in the last 18 months.
Notable among the measures to check any energy shortfall in future are the Bui Hydroelectric Dam Project which is expected to generate 400 MW of power; a 150 MW thermal plant being installed by the Volta River Authority; and the 80 MW thermal plant from the mining consortium.
Government also announced in the 2008 budget that it is going to invest $460 million, representing 61 percent in the energy sector, with the construction of four hydro power plants.
They are the Hemang and Awisam Hydro Electricity Power on the Pra River; Hydro Electric Power on Ankobra River; the Tanoso Hydro Electric Power on the Tano River; and the Juale Hydro River on River Oti.
Mr. Amporfu Twuamsi said Ghana stands being the net exporter of energy in the West Africa sub-region in the wake of the oil discovery and other measures being put in place to improve the country's energy capacity.
'Four to five years from now, the petrochemical industry would be dominating the industrial sector of the country.'
Ambassador Craig Murray, Director of Atholl Energy, the other partner, said the success of the Ghanaian economy calls for immediate investment in the energy sector, adding that the economy, which has been growing rapidly, needs an energy capacity of about 700 MW annually.
He explained that his outfit has intentions of becoming an independent power producer, producing on a large scale.
On his part, the Managing Director of Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery Limited, Nick Muntz, who travelled with his deputy all the way from the United Kingdom, said Siemens would continue to provide support since they have observed growing investor confidence in Ghana.
By Charles Nixon Yeboah