The Shenzhen Energy Group, parent company of Sunon Asogli Power (Ghana) Ltd, has estimated the cost of its proposed coal power plant in Ghana at a whopping US$1.5billion, saying feasibility has proved positive.
The company told the Energy Minister, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, upon his recent visit to China that the project includes two units of 350 megawatts (700megawatts) as well as a subsidiary coal port with a 50,000 tonne berth as a terminal to receive coal from overseas and transmit it to the plant.
“The port also can be treated as a multi-using and urban port, and it is available to the public,” a presentation in China by Li Xiaohai, Chairman of Sunon Asogli Power Company Ltd, indicated.
Construction of the coal-fired plant and port could take between 30 to 36 months or longer from the commencement stage, depending on local conditions and available resources in Ghana, the company said.
Several groups of experts, it added, have visited Ghana to do investigation and complete a conceptual study report about investing and building Coal-fired Power Plant in Ghana, and that sites have been selected in that regard.
“Preliminary feasibility study about the coal-fired power plant with 2X350MW in Ghana has been just finished by Shenzhen Energy Group. Primary conclusion of the Study indicates that it is feasible and realistic to construct a 2X350 MW supercritical coal-fired power plant in Ghana, and the power plant also is more affordable for the Ghanaian market compared to gas or oil-fired power plant.
“Shenzhen would like to continue its contribution on providing sustainable power to Ghana and remitting the power demand of the country. The proposed coal-fired power project could be one of best options for Ghana to increase its power supply in the near-future,” the company said.
With 27 years of experience in coal-power, the Shenzhen Group currently owns and operates three coal-fired power plants with a total of 3,700MW installed capacity. The first 350MW unit was inaugurated in 1987.
Although it is no longer popular, for environmental reasons, coal remains the largest contributor to power generation the world over. It contributes some 60% of total installed capacity worldwide.
“There is some misunderstanding. Coal is always fundamental to thermal energy in the world; it is bigger than oil, it is bigger than gas, bigger than any resources currently in use,” Li Xiaohai told the B&FT Online in an interview last year.
“We are excited by the proposal to bring in coal for reasonably priced generation,” the Energy and Petroleum Minister said, adding that: “Generation with coal will make it possible for us to use the coal as base load capacity and use the rest of the power plant for peak load.”
After a series of deliberations, the ministry agreed to coordinate between the VRA and Shenzhen Energy for the formation of a joint venture to invest and build the coal plant.
Coal-fired electric power generation is said to emit around 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide for every megawatt-hour generated, which is almost double the approximate 1100 pounds of carbon dioxide released by a natural gas-fired electric plant per megawatt-hour generated.
Through desulphurisation, coal can, however, be burned in a cleaner way; a measure the Shenzhen says it will adopt.
“The proposed coal-fired power plant in Ghana will use high efficient and advanced technology to control and reduce pollution maximally,” the company said.
Solid waste like fly ash, slag and gypsum, from the use of coal, the company said, will be collected and used as important building materials.
Since 1983, the world top coal producer is China; in 2011, China produced 3,520 millions of tonnes of coal — 49.5% of 7,695 million tonnes world coal production, notes BP’s Statistical review of world energy 2012.
In 2011 other large producers were United States (993 million tonnes), India (589), European Union (576) and Australia (416).
In 2010 largest exporters were Australia with 328 million tonnes (27.1% of world coal export) and Indonesia with 316 million tonnes (26.1%), while largest importers were Japan with 207 million tonnes (17.5% of world coal import), China with 195 million tonnes (16.6%) and South Korea with 126 million tonnes (10.7%).
Source: B & FT Online
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