For just a moment, think about what your life would be like without electricity. What would happen if you were unable to charge the device you’re reading this blog post on; if you couldn’t switch the lights on; if you couldn’t watch TV or listen to music; if you couldn’t cook on an electric stove or store food in a refrigerator? We take basic amenities such as electricity for granted without realising how dependant we are on these things and without appreciating that there are still 600-million Africans who do not have access to a stable power supply.
GE has been at the forefront of power innovation in Africa for decades and the multinational’s commitment to the continent was recently reinforced when the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo broke ground to formally launch the construction of the Bridge Power Project in Tema, Ghana.
Bridge Power is a 400MW greenfield power and liquified petroleum gas (LPG) project that will be built near the Tema Oil Refinery. The plant will be capable of being fuelled by LPG, natural gas and diesel, and will address the long-term energy requirements of Ghana by providing more than 17% of the country’s reliable generating capacity. When completed, it will be the largest LPG-fired power plant in the world.
The project will create hundreds of jobs during both the construction and operation phases. This project also brings much-needed reliable and affordable electricity to Ghana, and will have an immediate positive impact on the running of schools, factories, offices, hospitals and households.
GE Ghana CEO, Leslie Nelson, said: “GE is proud to be contributing its technology and expertise to this significant project that will help Ghana meet its growing energy demand. As we know, power is central to economic development and this new plant is going to go a long way towards supporting the overall development of the country.”
Bridge Power is being developed in two stages by the Early Power Limited (EPL) consortium under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Electricity Corporation of Ghana (ECG) with a term of 20 years. The EPL consortium is comprised of Endeavor Energy, a leading independent power development and generation company focused on Africa; Sage, a leading independent energy trading firm in Ghana; and GE.
Endeavor is the largest shareholder in Bridge Power and is leading the development together with GE. The consortium members will collectively be responsible for operations and maintenance of the project with the support of a long-term service agreement from GE. Endeavor will be responsible for commercial and construction management.
Stage 1, which will be constructed by Metka, the leading consortium partner, will use five GE TM2500+ gas turbines and one purpose built GE steam turbine in a combined cycle turbine (CCGT) configuration that will collectively generate 200MW of capacity. Stage 2 will add another 200MW through four GE LM6000 gas turbines and one purpose-built GE steam turbine, also in a CCGT configuration.
The cost of development and construction of the full 400MW and the fuel infrastructure will be borne entirely by equity invested and debt raised by the consortium. GE and Metka will collectively provide vendor financing in the form of a bridge loan of up to $250-million to fast-track the start of the project.
When one considers the extent of the direct and indirect impacts on the country as a whole, as well as on individual lives, there is no doubt that Bridge Power will have a sustained transformative socio-economic impact on Ghana.