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Business News of Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Source: B&FT

Land for 2,000MW Ketu Power plant ready

The Chiefs and Elders of Ehi, Adzortsi and Torgbeve in the Volta Region have ceded a four kilometres (km) parcel of land for the Ketu Power Project (KPP).

The Project, under the initiative of the MacBaron Group, involves a 2,000 Megawatt (MW) power generation plant in response to Ghana’s current power generation needs. The Chiefs and Elders met the project promoters MacBaron Group and the consultants Finite Earth Consult over the weekend at Dzode to formalise details of the land transfer.

Torgbi Weshigbe II, Dufia of Ehi, who led the delegation of chiefs, said: “The Ketu Power Project is the key the Volta Region has been waiting for to open the doors of development to the region and Ghana as a whole.” He described development and civilisation as “a very complex process in which some people must be persuaded before they can accept the changes that will ensue.” Torgbi Weshigbe said: “Land is a very scarce commodity in this part of Ghana, and therefore the area has a very complex land tenure system. However, with the cooperation of my colleague Chiefs, Clan and Family Heads, and the people, we have a basic understanding...to enable the project to take off.”

He urged Government, Ministries, Departments and Agencies, and the Local Government Authorities to emulate the example of the people of Ketu to make the KPP an industrial reality for the Region. “Coming at this time of the country’s crippling energy crisis, the project is envisaged to enhance the social and economic development not only of the Volta Region but Ghana and West Africa.”

Torgbi Weshigbe urged Government to make maximum effort in support of the project for it to succeed, by ensuring the promoters go about their legitimate business in peace -- much as the Chiefs have done to make land available to the project without let or hindrance.

The Dufia of Adzortsi, Torgbi Anata III, recounted the sacrifices his people made during the construction of the Dekpor Dam and said: “Much of our tradition and heritage remain under the waters of the dam. But today our citizens have learnt knew livelihoods including fishing and the cultivation of rice and other crops using irrigation technology.”

Torgbi Anata said: “Though there have been social and economic cost to my people with these developments, I am a living witness that the people are better-off following these interventions. “The Wayss & Freytag Sea Defence Road has... taken up our land; but that has also provided us easy access to our villages.”

He therefore implored the project promoters, MacBaron Group, “to ensure that there are avenues of economic and social linkages for the natives in employment and local content derivatives.” The Regent of Torgbeve, Torgbi Korsorku III, said: ‘Though my people contributed the least amount of land to it, they will make up for this by other contributions for the success of the Ketu Power Project.”

He praised the project and said: ‘This engineering and economic miracle can only happen in the Volta Region, more so when the consortium of investors is being led by German engineering and resourcefulness.” For him, it is an opportunity for the people of the region and the Germans to once more unite in pursuit of the progressive relationship which was truncated by events in history.

Torgbeve Korsorku extolled German technology and emphasised that the prowess of artisans, technicians, and engineers from the Region can be linked to the historical association with Germans. He expressed the hope that the KPP will be successful so that people of the region and the Germans can pick up their cooperation on the trajectory of civil cooperation, technological and cultural interchange through mutual respect.

Representatives of MacBaron Group and Finite Earth Consult described the occasion as not just a step, but a giant leap in the development of Ghana. A series of activities have been lined up toward project’s the success, and these include dedication of the project area and commitment of the KPP to God. Mr. Mayor Agbleze, Coordinating Partner of Finite Earth Consult, noted that in today’s terms there is nothing awesome about the 2,000MW plant, a power plant twice the size of Akosombo and Kpong hydro generation stations combined.

“Today’s technology and economies,” he said, “make the 2,000MW plant just about the optimum for generation efficiency and economies of scale. “Compared to the conception of the Akosombo Dam about 50 years ago, which produced the greatest man-made lake at the time; we should be talking about a 10,000MW plant to be able to raise eyebrows. For a 2,000MW plant, the technology is off-the-shelf and does not require monumental financing.

“There are sufficient structures, facilities and human resources within the country to realise the Ketu Power Project successfully, profitably and sustainably. “Compared to the financial, technological and economic challenges the Akosombo faced 50 years ago, this is child’s play.”

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