Rosatom meets Ghana's Energy Minister Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh

Rosatom meets Ghana's Energy Minister Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh

The Chief Executive Officer of the State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) of Russia, Ryan Collyer last Monday met with Ghana’s Energy Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh on the sidelines of the 2023 Africa Energy Week in Cape Town, South Africa. 

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The meeting, held at the instance of ROSATOM was to deepen discussions on co-operation with Ghana on the nuclear energy front. 

Speaking at the meeting, the leader of delegation with oversight responsibility over Central and Southern Africa, Mr Collyer made reference to an initial Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Ghana and Rosatom in 2015 on nuclear co-operation.

The MoU, according to him, included design and construction of nuclear power plants for the production of electricity and water desalination, nuclear research reactors and atomic particle accelerators, among others. 

He also spoke on their current proposal to Ghana to construct a nuclear power plant in respect of which last information was sent to the Nuclear Power Ghana last Friday, October 13, 2023. 

ROSATOM, he said, had commenced the construction of a fleet of floating nuclear power plants as part of their plans to supply power to Ghana’s grid through a power purchase agreement

“We are very committed to this project in Ghana and we want to ensure that this co-operation works,” the CEO said.  

He continued, “we are also very committed to our floating nuclear power plant efforts, all in the bid to strengthening the co-operation with Ghana.” 

Mr Collyer further spoke about the advantages of small modular reactor in parallel for industry, drawing similarities to what pertained in Russia. 

He asked Dr Opoku Prempeh to assist them find a Ghanaian industry partner for a long-term agreement in that direction.

For his part, Dr Opoku Prempeh recounted Ghana’s long-standing relations with Russia, citing the fact that Ghana’s quest for oil discovery was first led by the Russians. 

He said the Government of Ghana continued to support the Ghana Nuclear Power Programme, by participating, funding and making various contribution and supports to the realisation of the set goals of the programme.

“Ghana has completed the phase one stage of the Nuclear Power Programme according to the IAEA milestones approach and has launched into the phase two stage of the programme, which requires comprehensive feasibility study and implementation works,” he said. 

The Minister said, Ghana’s main preoccupation currently was funding and therefore, making efforts at attracting same. 

He expressed satisfaction at the request for further information by Russia, which demonstrated their seriousness to co-operate with Ghana. 

Ghana, he said, was looking at long term agreements, which spanned 40-50 years in the nuclear space as it had become a critical part of the clean energy conversation across the globe. 

He reiterated that, Ghana was very much looking for a country who would demonstrate the commitment to funding and investing in nuclear projects as that was also the priority of the President. 

In June 2022, President Akufo-Addo made a declaration on the approval by cabinet for the inclusion of nuclear in the national energy mix. 

The Ministry of Energy under the leadership of Dr Opoku Prempeh continues to consolidate efforts in this regard towards the construction of a nuclear power plant also pursuant to the country’s clean energy agenda.

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