Business News of Friday, 6 September 2013

Source: B&FT

Aboadze to get thermal power plant

A 360 Megawatt (MW) Thermal Power Plant is to be constructed at Aboadze in the Western Region to enhance the country’s current power generating capacity. Jacobsen Jelco Ghana Limited, an Electricity wholesale supplier and a subsidiary of Jacobsen Elektro Holding -- a Norwegian company, is responsible for the construction of the project.

The 360MW Thermal Plant by the Norwegian company is an initiative to double Ghana’s energy generating capacity to 5,000 MW by 2016 -- the operational phase of the plant is expected to make less noise and will not emit a lot of smoke.

Mr. Yaw Sarfo-Afriyie, Western Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), at the Public Hearing on the proposed project -- in accordance with the Environmental Assessment Regulation -- explained that the project fell into the category of undertakings for which Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is required.

According to him, Jacobsen Jelco Ghana Limited applied to the EPA for an Environmental Permit to be undertaken in order to satisfy the legislative requirement.

He noted that as part of the requirements, there is need for a Public Hearing to get the concerns of the communities and other stakeholders that will be affected by the project taken on board to enrich the decision-making process of the EPA.

Mr. Lars Due, Director in charge of Project and Development of Jacobsen Elektro, said the company has already started clearing the site for the project -- 32 farmers whose farms were destroyed to make way for the project have also been compensated.

He added that the project will create more jobs for the locals with the requisite skills, such as carpenters, masons and electricians among others, at the constructional phase. In the country, hydroelectricity is the primary source of power with the current hydroelectric capacity of 1.072 GW is located at Akosombo (912 MW) and Kpong (160 MW), operated by the Volta River Authority.

The second-largest Hydro-power station is the Bui Dam -- the first power generating unit (1) of 133 MW from the Bui hydro-electric project was officially started in May 2013. The project, which is being constructed by China's Sinohydro Corporation, is expected to generate 400 MW of power when fully operational.