A JOINT venture agreement valued at $180 million has been signed for the development of a gas- powered plant to deliver 140 megawatts by August 2016, to bridge the energy gap that has plunged the nation into an energy crisis.
The agreement, between Wuta Energy and Cummins Cogeneration Limited (CCL), will see the development of the power plant at Beyin in the Jomoro district of the Western Region. This agreement is the first of two phased projects which seek to produce 300 megawatts.
After successfully operating 100 megawatts of gas-based power projects in Nigeria, Wuta Energy – the clean energy group – is thus ready to introduce the same core technology to Ghana by 2016.
The facility, the Beyin Power Plant Project, is expected to make use of Ghana’s substantial natural gas reserves and will be the first development in the region to utilise an Organic Ranking Circle, which captures waste heat from the plant to generate additional energy.
This not only delivers a very significant economic benefit, but significantly improves the environmental impact of the power plant.
Deepak Khilnani, Chairman of CCL, noted that since the discovery of Ghana’s natural gas reserves it has been expected that gas will play a prominent role in the country’s energy sector.
Due to the expected impact of this project on natives of the affected communities and the environment, the partners have pledged to use local workforces to construct, operate and maintain the plant; thus promoting local content and transferring knowledge to the locals.
“We want to utilise the energy and talent of local Ghanaians to make this project a social as well as an economic success. We firmly believe it will have a positive impact on both short and long-term local employment.”
Chief Executive Officer of Wuta Energy, David Cobbina Brigidi, noted that the project will offer major improvements to the Ghanaian energy sector.
“It will accord Ghanaians employment training in various aspects of the power generation business. This project will not only increase the total energy base the country requires, but also jump-start economic activities in the catchment areas — which will enhance the living standards of the people,” he said.
Mr. Brigidi lauded the unparalleled efforts and tremendous sacrifices the chief and people of Nzema area have had to make culminating in the birth of this project. “Sacrificing one’s source of livelihood for a project of this magnitude denotes the extent of its future prospects. This project will meet all the standards required from regulators,” he added.
Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, Minister of Energy and Petroleum, congratulated the two partners for the progress made in speeding up the project due to the country’s precarious energy situation.
“Our deficit in power generation and its implications on the growth of the economy and job-creation is well documented; therefore, anytime there is a discussion to add more power to reduce this problem we are excited.”
He added that government is working hard to add more power to the current quantity so that this energy crisis will become a thing of the past. “We have projected that by 2019 this country will produce indigenously and on a daily basis over 500million standard cubic feet of gas – enough to give us 3000 megawatts, and that is the hope for Ghana. This project is very important and your commitment to ensuring that real community needs are addressed is laudable.”
Awulae Annor Adjaye III, Paramount Chief of Western Nzema Traditional Area, expressed his pleasure at the partners’ commitment to promote local content since many people will be losing their livelihoods.
“I am happy we are talking about the environment because there are so many people who have lost their source of livelihood due to allocations of land to the developers. All these people survived on the coconut trees on the land, but now that these trees are going to be cut down all these people need to be taken care of.
“The present and future generations must benefit from the land. I am happy that Wuta and its partners are promoting use of the local workforce to sustain the lives of thousands who will lose their source of livelihood,” he said.
He assured the developers that nobody will create problems to derail timely completion of the project.