A 2,000 Megawatts (MW) coal plant is to be established at Otuam in the Central Region by 2019 to complement the country’s hydro, thermal and solar sources of power generation.
The project, which is expected to augment the country’s energy supply, is to be executed by the Volta River Authority (VRA) in collaboration with a Chinese power producer, Shenzhen Energy.
The Head of Business Development of VRA, Mr Kofi Ellis, who made this known at the 2015 edition of the Ghana Gas Forum, said after series of feasibility studies, Otuam, the hometown of the late President John Atta Mills, was seen as a potential site for the project.
“VRA is working closely with Shenzhen Energy of China to put up a 2,000 MW coal plant. We have gone through the pre-feasibility studies and we are just finishing the feasibility study itself,” he said at the forum.
Speaking on Ghana’s gas requirement and the role of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Mr Ellis stated: “We identified a number of possible places where we can build this project. We started from the West down to the East, trying to identify a possible location around the coast to put up the infrastructure. One of the potential sites where we are likely to put up this project is Otuam, the hometown of our late President, Atta Mills.”
Mr Ellis explained that the project would be executed in phases, with the first expected to return 700 MW of power.
“The plan is to ensure that this plant runs by 2019; when it runs and we are able to cover up all the issues relating to it, we will add on and make it up to the 2000MW,” he said.
Mr Ellis pointed out that recent developments had made coal quite a clean resource. He explained: “Right from where the coal is coming from, you select a coal that is relatively cleaner, take it through the cleaning process before it goes through burning to make sure that emissions that come out of it are really good.”
On concerns of the harmful environmental effects of coal emissions, he said the strategy for the project was to adopt the best stringent measures and also work with regulators to ensure that the country would get the best out of the project.
“We are mapping out a strategy to adopt the most stringent measures. We will look at standards from Ghana, China and what is coming from other areas and we will choose the most stringent and make sure we get the best from this project. We are working with stakeholders to make sure this project is possible,” he said.