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Government takes delivery of $70m power generation equipment

BY: Maclean Kwofi
 Mr Andras Szabo (left), Hungarian Ambassador addressing guests at the event
Mr Andras Szabo (left), Hungarian Ambassador addressing guests at the event

The government has taken delivery of a $70 million power generation equipment from the Hungarian government to aid the construction of the 400 megawatt (MW) Bridge Power Project in Tema.

The equipment are made up of three out of five GE aeroderivative gas turbines (TM 2500) which are expected to be used to operate the first stage of the power plant.

When completed, the project is to provide a significant portion of the country’s current reliable generating capacity with more than 400 megawatts of efficient, combined cycle power.

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The Ambassador of Hungary, Mr Andras Szabo, speaking at a ceremony to unveil the equipment in Tema on Monday , stated that the arrival of the gas turbines was yet another major milestone in the rapid growing economic cooperation between Ghana and Hungary.

He observed that the Hungarian government was determined to support Ghana's developmental agenda, particularly in the areas of technology and power.

"Hungary is willing to provide seeds, plants, animal nutrition, farming technology, food processing and market access for Ghana made products," he said.

According to him, the Hungarian government’s decision to reopen its embassy in Ghana after 30 years of absence, was a major step in Hungary's foreign policy campaign, “Open to South”.

"The main objective of this initiative is for Hungary to diversify its economic relations through closer political ties and increased commence with emerging economies in Africa," Mr Szabo added.

Govt’s position

Representing the Government of Ghana (GoG), a Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, applauded the Hungarian government for the support towards enhancing Ghana's energy sector.

“The Ghana Beyond Aid agenda by the President could only be achieved by diversifying the economy towards manufacturing and agro-processing that will create reliable and stable jobs for our unemployed youth for resilient growth.

These ambitious dreams of ours can only be achieved with adequate and reliable power,” he said.

He added that the project would enhance Ghana’s energy security because the plant was capable of being fuelled by liquified petroleum gas (LPG), natural gas or diesel.

Power firm

Mr Steve Jernigan, the Managing Director of Endeavor Energy, one of the firms, said the project was now in the position to commence full work after the arrival of the turbines.

“We expect to deliver first power by the end of this year, and we are thrilled at the prospect of significantly helping to power Ghana’s homes, schools, offices, hospitals and industries.

“In the process, we will create jobs, transfer skills and add to Ghana’s energy infrastructure,” he said.

Mr Jernigan said more works would be done in the next few months to ensure that the continuation of the 400 megawatt commenced progressively.

When completed, he said the Bridge Power Project would be the biggest power plant in Ghana since the Bui hydropower plant.

Project brief

The project, which commenced last year after President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cut the sod for work to begin, is currently at the first stage where 202mw of power is being developed.

Already, the necessary infrastructural works for the project has been done with the major works set to continue.

Bridge Power is being developed in two stages by the Early Power Limited (EPL) consortium under a Power Purchase Agreement with the Electricity Company of Ghana for a term of 20 years, with an option to extend for five more years.

The companies undertaking the project are Endeavor Energy, a leading independent power development and generation company, Sage, a leading energy firm in Ghana and GE Power, a world energy leader.