A joint venture agreement valued at $180 million has been signed for the development of a gas- powered plant to deliver 140 megawatts power by August 2016, to bridge the energy deficit that has plunged the country into a power crisis.
The agreement, between Wuta Energy and Cummins Cogeneration Limited (CCL), will lead to the development of the power plant at Beyin in the Jomoro District of the Western Region. This agreement is the first of two phased projects which seek to produce 300 megawatts.
After successfully operating 100 megawatts of gas-based power projects in Nigeria, Wuta Energy plans to introduce the same core technology in Ghana by 2016.
The facility, the Beyin Power Plant Project, is expected to make use of Ghana's substantial natural gas reserves and will be the first development in the region to utilise an Organic Ranking Circle, which captures waste heat from the plant to generate additional energy.
Mr Deepak Khilnani, Chairman of CCL, noted that since the discovery of Ghana's natural gas reserves, it had been expected that gas would play a prominent role in the country's energy sector.
Due to the expected impact of this project on residence of the affected communities and the environment, the partners have pledged to use local workforce to construct, operate and maintain the plant; thus promoting local content and transferring knowledge to the locals.
"We want to utilise the energy and talent of Ghanaians to make this project a social, as well as an economic success. We firmly believe it will have a positive impact on both short- and long-term local employment," he said.
The Chief Executive Officer of Wuta Energy, Mr David Cobbina Brigidi, noted that the project would offer major improvements to the energy sector.
"It will accord Ghanaians employment training in various aspects of the power generation business. This project will not only increase the total energy base the country requires, but also jump-start economic activities in the catchment areas -- which will enhance the living standards of the people," he said.
Mr Brigidi lauded the unparalleled efforts and tremendous sacrifices the chief and people of Nzema area have had to make to culminate in the birth of this project.
"Sacrificing one's source of livelihood for a project of this magnitude denotes the extent of its future prospects. This project will meet all the standards required from regulators," he added.
Implications for growth
Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Minister of Energy and Petroleum, congratulated the two partners on the progress made in speeding up the project in order to arrest the country's precarious energy situation.
"Our deficit in power generation and its implications for the growth of the economy and job-creation are well documented; therefore, anytime there is a discussion to add more power to reduce this problem we are excited," he said.
Mr Buah added that the government was working hard to add more power to the current generation so that the energy crisis would become a thing of the past.
"We have projected that by 2019, this country will produce indigenously and on a daily basis over 500million standard cubic feet of gas - enough to give us 3000 megawatts, and that is the hope for Ghana. This project is very important and your commitment to ensuring that real community needs are addressed is laudable," he said
The Paramount Chief of the Western Nzema Traditional Area, Awulae Annor Adjaye III expressed his pleasure at the partners' commitment to promote local content since many people would be losing their livelihoods.
He assured the developers that nobody would create problems to derail the timely completion of the project.