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13.01.2012 Business & Finance

Asogli Plant Produces 15% Power In 2011

By Daily Guide
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The Sunon Asogli Power Plant alone has produced fifteen per cent of the total electricity generated in Ghana last year, the Managing Director of the company, Haicheng Zhang, has disclosed.

He told the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) press corps during a fact-finding tour of the project site in Tema recently that the total energy produced by his outfit in Ghana so far was 1.2 billion kilowatt per hour.

'Our power supply is reliable. With Asogli Power Plant, the Electricity Company of Ghana and Ghana Grid Company Limited now have more power to deliver to VALCO,' Mr Zhang stated.

Work has begun with feasibility studies on the second phase of the Sunon Asogli Power Plant Project which is expected to produce about 360 megawatts of electricity on completion.

The Managing Director of the Project, Haicheng Zhang, told the press the project would cost his outfit $360 million.

The first phase of the project, which is producing 200 megawatts of power, costs the Chinese investor an amount of $200 million.  Mr. Zhang further hinted that the total amount of power the Asogli Power Plant would be providing to the country was 560 megawatts.

'The project is environmentally-friendly and has a natural gas fueling combine cycle power plant situated on a 50-acre land within the premises of the company, located in the Tema Industrial Enclave,' Mr Zhang stated.

Togbe Afede XIV, a Director of the company, said inconsistent gas supply had been a major challenge that the company was facing but hoped when Ghana's oil and gas production started, the problem should be resolved. Currently, 200 Ghanaians are being employed at the facility with 80 expatriate Chinese.

The Sunon Asogli Kpone Power Plant Project is the fruit of a visit to China by Togbe Afede XIV, a Ghanaian businessman and the Agbogbomefia (paramount chief) of the Asogli State, who succeeded in getting Shenzen Energy Group Company Limited and China-Africa Development Fund to buy into the idea of constructing a gas-energy project that has a huge market potential in Ghana and the sub-region.

Even before the plant came on-stream in 2007, it had been touted as a presentable icon of the public-private partnership the Government of Ghana was promoting to accelerate the nation's pace of socio-economic development.

With the liberalisation of the energy sector in Ghana following the energy crisis that hit the country some years ago, Sunon-Asogli – a private Chinese-Ghanaian business Joint-Venture with a power investment portfolio – seeks to build an energy village to produce 560 megawatts of electric power to be sold to the main power distributors in Ghana: Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) and Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

Currently, electricity consumption in Ghana is estimated at over 7.095 billion kilowatts per hour (kWh), while production capacity is pegged at over 6.489 billion kWh.

The Sunon Asogli Power Plant Project has been initiated at a time when consensus has been reached to allow independent power producers to help solve Africa's energy problems.

For now, financiers of the Sunon Asogli Power Plant Project see the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) as their sole customer for gas-fired power.

But if the national electricity firm gives them a raw deal, they will have no choice but to look elsewhere – such as to big-energy consuming firms like those in the mining and alumina smelting sectors – to buy the energy that is produced.

By Felix Dela Klutse

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