Kpone thermal project to add 220 megawatts to national grid
The Kpone Thermal Power Project (KTPP), near Tema, is to add 220 megawatts of electricity to the national grid by the first quarter of 2015.
On completion of the project, the two gas turbines of the $220-million plant will each produce 110 megawatts of electricity.
The dual-fuel turbines could use natural gas from the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGPI) and diesel to operate.
The project is being jointly funded by the government and the Volta River Authority (VRA), with each providing $110 million.
Lack of funds
The Project Manager of the project, Mr Francis Y. Agbenyo, said the project started in October 2012 and was expected to be completed in September, this year.
He, however, stated that lack of funds had slowed down work on the plant and the VRA, as of August 2014, needed $57 million to complete the project.
He said originally the VRA had intended to use its internally generated funds to execute the project but an accident on the West African Pipeline wiped out the company’s profit made in the previous year, thus delaying the project.
He added that the company had so far used $20 million of its internally generated funds and a $90 million credit facility from the Fidelity Bank to finance the project.
The project manager said the authority would undertake a test running on the first gas turbine on December 25, 2014 and carry out the same exercise on the second turbine in January the following year.
“This is to ensure harmony among all the air, water, fuel and firefighting and detection systems of the turbines to make sure that they function properly before we enter into a commercial operation declaration and inauguration of the plant,” he stated.
The project manager said the unreliable supply of gas from the West African Gas Pipeline had made the VRA sign agreements with other private gas companies in Nigeria to supply gas to the plant.
“We may be buying more expensive gas from private entities but it is far cheaper and better than our plants running on crude oil,” Mr Agbenyo said.
He said the country needed about 200 megawatts of power each year to boost the economy and to meet the demand of the growing population.
“Luckily, we have a lot of space for expansion to ensure adequate power generation at the Kpone Thermal Power Plant,” he said.
Costly energy consumption
The Corporate Communications Manager of the VRA, Mr Samuel Fleisher, said the consumption of every megawatt cost the country $1 million and called on the public to conserve energy.
“We cannot continue wasting 20 to 30 per cent of electricity that comes to our homes and offices. It is time we thought of serious conservation of energy,” he said. – Graphic Online