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TC's Energy partner, others to revive Ada Foah Wave Energy Project

BY: kester Aburam Korankye
Prof Alex Dodoo (right) and Mr Anthony Opoku (left) after they inspected the facility
Prof Alex Dodoo (right) and Mr Anthony Opoku (left) after they inspected the facility

TC’s Energy USA has signed an ambitious agreement with Power China Huadong Engineering Corporation Ltd and Seabased of Sweden to finance and revive the Ada Foah Energy Project, which has come to a standstill.

With the agreement, the partnership is expected to help establish a wave energy park in the Gulf of Guinea in Ghana, about 17 km off the coast of Ada to generate 1,000 megawatts (MW/H) of power from sea waves, employing an environmentally friendly technology – the ‘SEABASED’ Wave Energy Converters (WEC).

TC’s Energy has applied to the Ghana Standards Authority for Marine Energy Converters Certification to ensure that the project meets the highest international requirements.

Under the terms of the agreement, Power China, a state-owned key enterprise, will provide 85 per cent of the cost, while the remaining 15 per cent is to be borne by the Ghanaian company.

The initial plan is to begin with five megawatts and scale up to the project target of 100 megawatts within 24 months.

Seabased Industry AB has, in collaboration with TC’s Energy, been working to create Africa’s first wave power plant, at Ada Foah since 2015 when the onshore grid-connected switchgear was installed and the first phase of the wave energy converters was deployed and connected.

The sponsors have already invested over US$10 million for the acquisition of the project land and implementation of the pilot project.

The pilot project successfully generated abundant power which was seamlessly fed into the national distribution system.

The huge success of the initial pilot led to interests from investors who had now pledged up to US$2 billion towards the entire project which is due to start once Ghana’s borders were open and the foreign technical team could travel to Ghana.

Scope
Officials say the project will offer energy at a lower cost of between 3 and 4 cents compared with 10 or more cents available from hydro and thermal. Besides, there is an enormous environmental benefit since the project is renewable.

“The benefits to the government upon implementation are enormous as there will be no need to purchase oil, gas or other resources to produce electricity,” CEO of TC's Energy, Mr Anthony Opoku said.

The project, with the tag line “Pioneering Wave Energy in Africa”, will involve the installation of generator units (WECs) and marine substations offshore, installation of an onshore substation to connect to the national grid, and the laying of cables to link the offshore generating units and the onshore sub-station located about 100m from the shore.

The project is backed by a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between TC’s Energy Limited and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to offtake up to 1,000 MW of power from the project.

Safety assurance
Commenting on these developments, Prof. Alex Dodoo, the Director General of the Ghana Standards Authority, assured the CEO that through GSA's certification processes, safety and quality will be assured.

The GSA will provide professional and technical services to the project in the area of inspection, testing, precision measurement and certification.

In the coming days, we will sign a MoU with TC's Energy to provide certification at every stage of the project.

“This and other new technology products are precisely what Africa and Ghana needs in a post-COVID world in order to create newer industries employing highly skilled individuals and creating wealth at all levels of Ghanaian society. It really offers fresh and abundant hope for Ghana and will definitely contribute significantly to the realisation of a Ghana beyond aid”, Prof Dodoo added.

“Our certification will ensure quality and safety of products and services used for the project. This will help protect the funds invested.”

The GSA delegation included Charles Amoako, Deputy Director-General (Conformity Assessment), Clifford Frimpong, Director of Physical Science Directorate, Mr Benjamin Otoo, Ag. Director, Finance; George Kojo Anti, Business Development Manager, and Peter Martey Agbeko, Head of Public Relations.

“As the National Standards Body as well as Conformity Assessments body, it is our role to facilitate the development of standards needed by businesses operating in the country.

“Our doors are always open for constant engagement with us on anything you might need to make the project successful.”