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16.07.2005 Business & Finance

Include "Osagyefo" power barge in W/A Power Pool-Osafo-Maafo

GNA

Effasu-Mangyea (W/R) July 16,-GNA-Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Education and Sports said the "Osagyefo" power barge currently lying idle at Effasu-Mangyea in the Western Region, should be placed into the West African Power Sharing Pool without delay.

He said under the new arrangement, Cote D'Ivoire and other neighbouring West African countries could supply gas to Ghana for the generation of electricity from the barge, which has two single cycle heavy-duty gas turbine units and could produce a total of 125 megawatt of power. Mr. Osafo-Maafo said these when he paid a visit to the project site on Friday after visiting selected educational institutions in the Western Region.

The barge was procured in 1995 through the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) credit facility from the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund of Japan (OECE) at 12.195 billion Japanese Yen approximately 120 million United States dollars.

He said government spent five million Euros in transporting the barge from the Sekondi Naval Base to the project site at Effasu-Mangyea on March 7 this year.

Mr. Osafo-Maafo said the inactive state of the barge due to the absence of gas, could not yield any proceeds, either as electricity or income to the government or the people living in the catchments area. He said the Presidents Special Initiative on Distance Education and the decision to make Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) part of the educational reforms could not materialise in the area due to the lack of gas to make the barge operational.

Mr. Osafo-Maafo stressed that power sharing among developed countries was a common practice and urged African countries to develop partnerships and supply electrical power to each other.

The entire project site is overgrown with weeds while a few workers were seen at the site.

The barge weighs about 10,900 tonnes and is 77 metres long with a 161 kilovolts gas insulated switch-gear (GIS), a control room, fire fighting and miscellaneous auxiliary systems.

The barge would rely on the Tano oil fields for between 12 to 15 years, while the West African Gas Pipeline would continue for 12 years when they become operational.

The transmission lines, communication facilities and other necessary works have been completed.

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