Ghana is poised to construct one of the world's largest LPG-fired power plant, as President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday cut the sod for the commencement of a 400-MegaWatt Bridge Power project in the port city of Tema.
"This project is one of several initiatives to be introduced along the power supply value chain in order to achieve a cost effective, efficient and sustainable energy sector in Ghana," noted the President.
Throwing more light on the project at the sod-cutting ceremony, President Akufo-Addo explained that the $1 billion project is consistent with his government's vision of making Ghana self-sufficient in electricity for industrial and domestic use, and to drive the country's socio-economic development.
He stated that it was regrettable that Ghana had not fared well in negotiations with private power producers in recent years; especially as such agreements were negotiated during emergency periods and times of power shortages.
President Akufo-Addo however noted that his government, nonetheless, is a natural cheerleader for the private sector, but will do so within the framework of protecting the public purse.
"For us laypersons, our interest in these agreements rests largely on cost, reliability and flexibility. I am glad to learn the plant will be able to operate on LPG, natural gas, and diesel and this flexibility will allow the plant to continue producing power in times of disruption in the supply of any one of the fuel types", he added.
He said he was also glad that the project has been specifically designed to switch to Ghana's own natural gas, once available, adding that, "this should help advance our strategy to leverage natural gas as a long-term source of fuel, central to the operation of the power sector," he said.
The President stated that he was looking forward to working with Early Power Limited to help his government fulfill its vision of creating a modern, efficient, diversified, and financially sustainable energy economy.
"I intend to grow this economy industrially, and that can be achieved when we have adequate, cost effective and sustainable power supply. The programmes this government has lined up to undertake, such as the 'One District, One Factory', and the 'One Village One Dam' projects, will all require significant amounts of electricity".
President Akufo-Addo stressed that power produced in this country must be cost effective, efficient and sustainable and that he had been informed that the technology of the Early Power Limited is one of the most efficient types in the world.
The President indicated that his government has commenced actions that will improve transparency in tariff setting, adding that "we aim to introduce very soon a new tariff policy that will reclassify consumer categories in order to protect lifeline and strategic industrial consumers".
He expressed the hope that the sector ministers will work with the private producers to address any challenges that may arise satisfactorily during the implementation of the project.
"If, indeed, it becomes necessary, which I hope it will not, to go higher up the chain of authority, I want you to know that my doors will always be open. I do, on the other hand, insist that, on your part, you play according to the rules and regulations of the sector and the country as a whole," he added.
Whilst pledging to make electricity available under his administration, President Akufo-Addo urged Ghanaians to use electricity efficiently.
"Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Switch off fans when not needed. Iron your clothes in bulk. These are just a few, simple actions we can all take. Not only will you be saving money for yourself, but these habits are acts of citizenship and common humanity. For the industrial customers, I urge you to use energy efficient machinery and equipment at your facilities. These human attitudes prove that, even when you have power, you care enough to save what you do not need so others, too, may have," he advised.
Bridge Power is being developed by the Early Power Limited (EPL) consortium, made up of Endeavor Energy, a leading independent power development and Generation Company focused on Africa; Sage, a leading independent Ghanaian energy trading firm; and GE (General Electric), the world's premier digital industrial company, and is expected to be completed by the end of the year or early next year.
Source: ISD with additional files from the presidency