The $953 million Bridge Power Project, which is being constructed under an accelerated program, is world’s largest LPG-fired power plant and is expected to add some 400 megawatts of power to the national grid when completed.
Flexibility of plant
The new plant according to its managers will have the capacity of being fueled by liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), natural gas, or diesel. This means operation of the plant will not risk disruption in the event of disruption supply of any single fuel type.
Management of the plant say, the project’s first stage will include five gas turbine units of 28.5 MW each, and its second stage will have four 42 MW gas turbines of which each can operate independently and be started, stopped, and then within an hour. This will allow the Electricity Corporation of Ghana to more efficiently supply electricity to match actual power demand.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who cut sod for the commencement of work on the Bridge Power Project yesterday, said the project is one of many that will help find long term solutions to the country’s power problems.
The President recalled that for the past few years, Ghana’s experiences with power supply has been a traumatic making the need for effective and sufficient power supply a priority of his government
“All aspects of our lives have been affected.
The economy has been damaged. Businesses have been destroyed, individual and family lives have been put under severe stress and our self confident has been dented “,
He insisted that although most Ghanaians have through the period of the crisis made light “a deadly serious and depressing situation with joke,” they are an experiences that should not be allowed to continue continue an extra day .
In furtherance of this, he added that his government has adequate measures to finding a lasting solution to the problem of power supply.
“I am here this afternoon because this project is consistent with our vision to make our country self sufficient in electricity for industrial and domestic use to drive the socio-economic development of our country “
The project he said is one of many such initiatives that would be introduced shore up the power supply value chain in order to achieve cost effective, efficient and sustainable energy sector.
He acknowledged that although Ghana has chucked many successes in her quest for energy efficiency with the participation of independent power producers, there still remain a troubling issue with the not too helpful agreements these independent power producers into with the country.
“There are no arguments today, about the participation of the private sector to meet the growing demand for electricity. What arguments and anxieties there have been has centered on the nature of the agreements that have been made with private producers. It might well be that many of such agreements have been negotiated during emergency periods and times of power shortages.
Dare I say, however, that thus far, it looks like the government of Ghana has not fared very well in these negotiations with independent power producers?”
He, however, assured that his government would ensure value for money in all subsequent power projects while creating the enabling environment for the private sector to thrive
“The government I lead is not only a natural cheer leader for the private sector but also anxious to protect the public purse. I see no contradiction in that. I believe that it is possible for the power producers to make a reasonable profit with a fair agreement that does not sink the fortunes of the country,” he emphasised.
Project cost to Ghana
Management say the total investment of about $953, which includes developing and constructing the full plant, fuel import and storage infrastructure will be wholly borne by the Early Power consortium and its lenders.
However, under a Put Call Option Agreement (PCOA), the government of Ghana would buy the plant and its associated infrastructure in the event of an early termination of the Power Purchase Agreement.
Conversely, if the default is by EPL, the Purchase price will be no more than 70 percent of the overall project cost. In addition, the purchase price reduces during the term of the agreement as EPL pays down the amount borrowed to construct the project.
According to managers of the project, the expected cost of the Bridge Power project will be in the form of tariffs.