An initiative by the Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, Togbe Afede XIV, has secured a deal for the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to inject about 560 megawatts of energy into the country's supply system.
A plant for the purpose, valued at more than $500 million, is to be located in Tema to supply the power to the whole of Accra and Tema.
Togbe Afede announced this in Accra last Sunday at a dinner for the visiting Chinese del¬egation from the Shenzhen Energy Group Company.
By an agreement signed last month, Shenzhen is to supply the power, while the ECG will be responsible for its distribution.
The energy plant, to run on gas from the West African Gas Pipeline, is expected to have the first phase completed by December this year, at the cost of $150 million, with an initial output of about 65 megawatts of power for Ghanaians "as a Christmas gift".
Addressing the delegation, Togbe Afede said during his visit to China in 2005, he learnt of the Chinese company and established contacts with it to assess the possibility of the company establishing an energy plant in the country.
He said after holding discussions with the group, it expressed the interest to build the plant at its own cost.
Togbe Afede indicated that the visit of the delegation was, among other things, to identify the location of the plant, which he said was ready to be shipped from China in the next couple of days.
He explained that the group pledged its commitment to the project, adding that "development should not be the responsibility of the government alone".
"I am happy to assure you all that in the next couple of months the plant will begin to produce results and the energy crisis we are currently facing will become a thing of the past," Togbe Afede gave the assurance.
He noted that the government had expressed delight in the project and had pledged its support for the initiative.
The Director of the Shenzhen Group, Mr Guo Limin, expressed his appreciation at the government's support for the establishment of the energy plant in the country.
He noted that his company was one of the fastest growing power companies in Shenzhen, a fast developing city in China, and expressed his delight to have such a project located in Africa.
Mr Guo said after the installation, the plant would have the capacity to produce 10,000 megawatts of power within the next 10 years.
He called for co-operation from the government in particular and Ghanaians in general to see to the successful installation of the plant.
The Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Mr J. H. Mensah, said, "This project is coming at a time of great need," adding that the energy crisis had not hit only Ghana but the whole of the West African sub-region.
He regretted that industries in the country were paying about $120 million monthly to supplement energy delivery, describing that trend as "a tremendous drain on the economy".
Mr Mensah, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Sunyani East, described the plant as a major development in the country's power security arrangement and assured the delegation of a "big market" in West Africa.
Culled from Dauly Graphic