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Offshore power plant from Turkey to Ghana



Ghana will receive two electricity generating vessels from Turkey in March next month to produce the equivalent of more than one fifth of Ghana's energy power.

The two temporal power stations will operate from Tema and Takoradi ports and produce up to 450 megawatts of power to Ghana's national electricity grid.

The Turkish "Karpowership" Ghana Company will be supporting the Electricity Company of Ghana. The Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, will providing crude oil to Karpowership to deliver fast-track electricity to meet the country's high energy demand.

Karpowership Ghana Company Limited, a subsidiary of Karadeniz Energy Group, the energy wing of the Turkey-based Karadeniz Holding, signed a ten-year power purchase agreement in June with the state-run Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

According to Ebenezer Baiden, a member of the tariff team at ECG, the company will build two floating power stations at a total estimated cost of US$1.2 billion. The cost of a ship is US$600 million, but this has been pre-financed by Karpower because it is an independent power producer

Ghana will only have to pay them every month when they start generating power from May 1, 2015. ECG, which does not generate power and depends on various state-owned and private power producers, has made a US$50-million commitment to the deal.

It is collateral to say that when they sail from Turkey to Ghana, we will not relent on the deal, Baiden explained. We produced the bank guarantee to Karpower to prove our commitment. The deal is believed to be the largest Turkish investment project in Ghana.

Karadeniz is the developer, owner and operator of a fleet of power ships with an overall capacity of more than 1,100 megawatts. It currently has three ships in Iraq, two in Lebanon, one in Pakistan and one in Dubai. The company reportedly supplies 10 percent and 20 percent of Iraq's and Lebanon's respective electricity needs.

The power ships will dock at Tema and Takoradi Ports, Ghana's two port cities near suitable grid interconnection points. They will contribute up to 450 megawatts (MG) of power to Ghana's national electricity grid. It is projected that with the two power ships, Karpowership Ghana will eventually supply 21% percent of the country's power generation.

Karpowership Ghana said the deal would be an economical solution to Ghana's existing electricity supply which relies on expensive crude oil, while providing employment and attracting badly needed foreign direct Investment in Ghana. With the use of low-cost fuel, the power ships will deliver a total cost of electricity into the grid that will enable a competitively priced tariff to deliver savings for the government.

The company's manager added that the power ships would initially use economic and abundant Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) to generate electricity, with transition to natural gas during the project's second phase.

Baiden, the Ghanaian official, said the power ships would run on HFO for the first five years, switching to natural gas in the sixth year. While the ships are running on HFO, Ghana will pay $0.19 for each unit per kilowatt. When they start running on natural gas, the cost will fall to US$0.15.

Edward Bawa, an Energy Ministry spokesman, said the power ships would help improve the West African country's energy situation and there is also an issue where the load demand is almost the same as the amount of power available, so the reserve margin is non-existent. Technically, we are supposed to have about 20 percent of our installed capacity being our reserved margin.

According to Edward Bawa with this facility, anytime we have a challenge with any of our internal plants, we can rely on it. So this will come in to plug that gap of deficit that we have.

Credit: FRANCIS TAWIAH (Duisburg - Germany)

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