Ghana's Coal power plant to cost US$1.5 billion

Ghana's Coal power plant to cost US$1.5 billion

The first phase of the coal power plant project of the Volta River Authority (VRA) is estimated to cost US$1.5 billion, the B&FT has reported.

Ghana's Coal power plant to cost US$1.5 billion

The first phase, which is expected to commence in April 2017, will produce 700 megawatts of power when completed in 2020 while the second phase would add 1,300 megawatts, hitting the 2,000 megawatts mark at peak, the report said.

A coal handling bay, networks, turbines, offices and administration block will be constructed in the first phase of the project while additional turbines and additional coal handling terminal will the constructed in the second phase, the report added.

The coal power plant would be sited at Ekumfi Aboano in the Ekumfi District of the Central Region, and is being undertaken by VRA and China’s Shenzhen Energy Corporation with funding from the China African Development Fund.

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About two million tonnes of coal is expected to be imported from Colombia and South Africa for the first phase.

Some Ghanaians have condemned the government over plans to build the plant, citing what they say is the negative impact of coal on the environment.

They argue that the government should have opted for cleaner, renewable energy in its bid to diversify the country's energy sources.

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However, a Ghanaian energy expert based in the US, Patrick Asare, has expressed support for the project..

In an article titled 'Ghana’s plan to build a coal power plant merits applause, not condemnation', published in February, he said:

"Although coal is a dirty fuel, there are many reasons why a majority of developed countries have relied on it for power generation for so long. It provides, at relatively low cost, the baseload power that is required for industrialization. No other fuel, perhaps other than nuclear energy, can match coal in this regard. As with everything in life, costs must always therefore be weighed against benefits.

Concerns about the impact of carbon and other emissions from coal power plants on the environment are legitimate, and everything practically possible must be done to lessen the world’s dependence on coal for power generation. However, the transition to renewable energy sources will take place over a long period of time, and even then, coal will never be completely eliminated from the global power generation fuel mix because diversification will forever remain a prudent strategy."

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