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General News of Sunday, 29 November 2020

Source: GNA

Senior Minister inaugurates 250 megawatts hydro-solar hybrid project at Bui dam

Osafo Maafo inaugurated the $48 million-dollar solar plant Osafo Maafo inaugurated the $48 million-dollar solar plant

Mr Osafo Maafo, the Senior Minister on Friday inaugurated $48 million-dollar solar plant constructed by the Bui Power Authority, managers of the Bui Dam at Bui in the Banda District of the Bono Region.

The solar farm will add 250 megawatts of power to augment the dam's annual production capacity.

Mr Maafo, who represented President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, indicated the facility reiterates Ghana’s resolve to diversify the country’s energy generation portfolio and increase the renewable energy component of her energy mix.

"This further shows my government’s commitment to deliver on its promises. We had promised to increase the Renewable Energy component in our Energy Mix to 10% by 2030.

"It is instructive to note that we are well on our way to achieving this feat, and perhaps earlier than expected. With Bui Power Authority’s significant addition of 250MW, VRA’s 100MW and the other small solar and hydro projects, I can assure you that Ghana will attain the 10% Renewable Energy target by 2030".

"Our country is blessed with abundant sunshine which provides us with natural resource required to develop solar power on a large scale. In addition, there has been a major reduction of the cost of the development of renewable projects worldwide, including solar, which should make it affordable for the good people of this country".

In recognition of the progress of the BPA, the Senior Minister announced the government had passed the Amendment Bill to the Bui Power Authority Act, ACT 740 of 2007, to incorporate two clauses that would ensure the Authority undertook more renewable energy responsibilities and endeavours.

"Let me reiterate that Renewable Energy as we all know is clean energy and environmentally friendly which will entrench further Ghana’s stance to fight against global warming and climate change".

"It is gratifying to note the percentage of local content in this project, which shows the investment and confidence my government has in the young human resource capabilities of this country'.

The project, Mr Maafo explained, involved the employment of about 350 people mainly from the communities within the Bui enclave.

He congratulated the BPA on the various interventions it had undertaken in the community particularly the Livelihood Enhancement Programme Business Modules where close to 1,000 young people had been given economically viable jobs to execute for the Authority.

Already, Mr Maafo said about GHC900,000 had been disbursed to constitute these young people into groups of cooperatives and resourced with the required work tools and equipment, and facilities to fully set them up to undertake their respective independent businesses.

"This fulfils government’s promise of increasing the employment opportunities for the youth of this country. There will be more business modules which will further engage more youth within the Banda area".

He expressed government's appreciation to the traditional leaders and all stakeholders for their support and co-operation towards the development of this and future projects within this area and assured the BPA was working with the Lands Commission to pay some of the land compensation, using it's internally generated funds.

Mr Afare Apeadu Donkor, the Board Chairman of the Board of Directors of the BPA, said the construction works on the phase two of the project in addition to the novel Floating Solar Plant, expected to be the first of its kind in the country was progressing steadily.

The Board, in addition, he noted had spearheaded the construction of essential foundational services to stimulate economic growth and quality of life improvement that would open the economy and stimulate growth at the Bui dam enclave.

Some of these projects include modern clubhouse, an executive lodge for dignitaries, downstream embankment improvement works, amenities for the clubhouse as well as other security installations at various stages of completion.

Mr Donkor explained the Board approved for the development of the seventeen business modules and skills set for alternative livelihoods for Project Affected Persons.

The skills set include aquaculture, sanitation, fumigation, fire control, lawn maintenance, catering service, warehouse maintenance, car washing, vulcanising, fishing, fish mongering, artisans, event and entertainment management, animal husbandry, vegetable farming and skills learning to create jobs for the local people.

First phase of the programme had been completed and benefited 169 affected people, he added.

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