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19.01.2010 General News

Mahama Cuts Sod For Expansion Of Thermal Plant

By Daily Graphic
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The Vice-President, Mr John Dramani Mahama hascut the sod for the commencement of expansion of the Takoradi Thermal Power Plant at Aboadze in the Shama District of the Western Region.

The 132-megawatt capacity combined cycle plant will consist of four gas turbines, four heat recovery steam generators and two steam turbines. The gas turbines will run on light oil, diesel oil and natural gas.

The project is being financed with a loan from the Canadian Government, Societe General of Canada and the Investment Bank at a cost of US$185,358,651 The main contractors for the project are Canadian Commercial Corporation.

With regard to power generation, Ghana’s power supply sources are mainly from hydro-electricity, thermal from light crude oil and a small percentage of photo-voltaic solar.

At present, the country has an installed generation capacity of about 2,000MW, with the Akosombo Dam generating 1,020MW, while the Kpong Dam produces 160MW.

In the case of thermal power generation, TAPCO (VRA) produces 330MW; TAQA, 220MW; the Mines Reserve Plant, 80MW and the Tema Thermal Power Plant, 126MW, while the Emergency Power Plant generates 126MW.

Currently, the country’s peak demand for power is about 1,350MW.

At the ceremony, Mr Mahama said the government had committed itself to increasing the current installed power generation capacity of about 2,000MW to 5,000MW by 2015. That, he explained, was to make energy available for industrial, and domestic use.

“The vision of the energy sector is to provide adequate and reliable energy supplies for all sectors of the economy to support socio-economic development, poverty reduction and also for export,” he added.

He said the country's vision was to become a net exporter of power and the government was undertaking the construction of some power plants to achieve that objective.

Notable among them, he said, was the Bui Hydro-electric Power Project that sought to add 400MW to the existing power generation capacity.

The Vice-President said in addition to the Bui Project, the government would develop smaller hydro-power plant on River Oti, which was expected to produce 90MW, and also at Heman, to produce 95MW, and at Awisam to generate about 50MW.

He said the Brazilian Government had also provided a loan of US$250 million for the construction of the Juale Plant.

Mr Mahama said the government would continue with the implementation of the National Electrification Programme (NEP), which was started in 1990, under which about 478 communities were connected to the national grid. Since then, he said, about 4,000 communities had been connected to the grid.

For his part, a Deputy Minister for Energy, Dr Kwabena Donkor, said the country’s power generation challenge had been aggravated by the use of obsolete transmission and distribution infrastructure.

“It is sad to note that transformers and their associated equipment manufactured and installed in the early 1960s still form the backbone of our transmission and distribution infrastructure. As a nation, we have collectively under-invested in the power sector after the 1960s,” he said.

Dr Donkor said the government was aware that driving an energy-based economy would require the effective management of the power system and the fullest support of the citizenry to ensure adequate, reliable and cost-effective power supply.

He said the government was aware of the difficulties in the chain of distribution and acknowledged its responsibilities in that direction to ensure adequate energy supply to commerce and industry needed for the creation of a buoyant economy.

Dr Donkor said the government would support the Ghana Grid Company (GRICO) and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to improve their status, as the transmission system presently was undergoing reinforcement to improve reliability and reduce vulnerability of the network.

He said the government would also support the expansion capacity of the network, which would carry load growth and modernise the entire transmission system to meet internationally acceptable standards.

The minister said in returning to international standards of excellence in service delivery, “we will have to collectively confront the high commercial losses experienced in the distribution chain”.

He said while an increase in investment would significantly reduce technical losses, the theft of power through illegal connections, culminating in commercial losses, must be addressed.

“We, therefore, call on the security agencies, community groups and patriotic-minded individuals to help the ECG and the VRA to bring this under control by arresting and reporting the perpetrators who live in our communities to the authorities,” he said.

The Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr Darren Schemmer, said Ghana and Canada had been partners in development for more than a century.

He said Canada used its natural resources as a springboard to develop, just as Ghana had started doing today, noting, “We expect to see more collaboration between the two countries in the years ahead.”

The Western Regional Minister, Mr Paul Evans Aidoo, called on the contractors to consider employing some of the local residents. Share Your Thoughts on this article Name Email Location Comments Graphic Ghana may edit your comments and not all comments will be published

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