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29.01.2006 Business & Finance

Increased crude oil costs could affect thermal generation

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Aboadze (W/R), Jan 29, GNA - Mr Daniel Noble, General Manager of the Takoradi International Company (TICO) producers of thermal power at Aboadze, near Takoradi said the company could burn 30 million dollars worth of fuel within three weeks.

He said increases in the cost of fuel on the international market, could have negative effects on thermal power generation in the country. Briefing the media at Aboadze on Thursday, Mr Noble commended the government for its decision to tap and use natural gas from Nigeria in collaboration with other partners through the West African Gas Pipeline Project (WAGP).

He said high fuel consumption had necessitated the need for a more efficient, environmentally friendly and efficient energy source to replace thermal power.

CMS Energy of the United States owns 90 per cent of TICO, while Volta River Authority (VRA) has the remaining 10 per cent. Mr Noble said TICO would soon expand and switch from thermal to the use of natural gas.

"Gas would be less expensive and there is the need for Ghanaians working at CMS/TICO to grow in knowledge, performance and experience and adapt the new technology to meet the power needs of the country. Mr Noble hinted that the company spent 200,000 dollars on social and community services within its catchment's area.

He hinted that the company was sourcing funding from the World Bank, International Finance Company (IFC) and other stakeholder to expand. Mr Noble said when the expansion was completed; CMS/TICO's capacity would increase from 220 megawatts (MW) to 330 megawatts (MW) and that would ensure that the company moved from a single cycle to a double cycle plant.

He said the company needed 250 million dollars for the expansion and out of this figure; 160 million dollars would go into construction. The general Manager said since March and September 2000, the company had produced 30 million MW at an average availability of 94 per cent.