Business News of Saturday, 31 January 2015
The Chairman of Cenpower Generation Ghana, Mr Samuel Nana Brew-Butler says the Kpone Independent Power Project (Kpone IPP) would be the most cost and fuel-efficient thermal power station in the country.
The $ 900 million thermal plant, which would be the largest in Ghana, has a tri-fuel configuration and would be powered by gas, light crude oil and distillate to minimise fuel supply risks.
The Kpone IPP would employ Combined Cycle Gas Turbine technology, an energy efficient combination of a gas turbine and a steam turbine in which the steam turbine is powered from the waste heat produced by the gas-powered turbine.
When it comes on-stream in 2017, it would provide an additional 10 per cent of Ghana’s generation capacity, approximately 20 per cent of its available thermal generation, and supply power to approximately one million households.
Speaking during a ceremony where Vice-President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur cut the sod for commencement of work, Mr Brew Butler said the fuel supply agreement with Vitol would also see the plant’s fuel kept in storage tanks built by Vitol at their own cost.
“This initiative means that the state will not be burdened with any arduous responsibility of importing fuel for its operations and the plant will not be shut down because of lack of fuel,” he said.
According to Cenpower, at current consumption levels, the 350 megawatt (MW) thermal plant would be able to provide power for the entire of the Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo regions as well as a portion of the Central Region.
The Kpone IPP is funded by the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), an African investor, infrastructure and development financer.
Mr Brew-Butler praised the project as a largely African-driven enterprise, though he noted that some international partners are involved.
“We are encouraged and happy to know that this remarkable and extraordinary deal is largely African,” he said.
The initiators and founding shareholders are Ghanaians. 62 per cent of equity is held by African entities while the 83 per cent of the debt is issued by African lenders.
The project construction company is African, assisted by an indigenous Ghanaian sub-contractor.
Mr Andrew Alli, President and Chief Executive Officer of Africa Finance Company, said the feature of a Ghanaian sub-contractor is significant since local companies often lack the financial strength and find themselves alienated from such projects due to the high figures involved.
Mr Alli said the Kpone IPP project would be the signature project of AFC.
“This project demonstrates what AFC was developed to do,” he added.
Other shareholders in Cenpower include: AIIM, Sumitomo Corporation and the Dutch Development Agency, and FMO.
Kpone IPP has already been awarded the prestigious Thomson Reuters “African Power Deal of the Year” award for 2014.