Taqa starts up power plant in Ghana

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, known as Taqa, said yesterday that its much-anticipated power project in Ghana had begun feeding electricity into the West African country’s grid.

The Takoradi 2 power plant, which began two years ago, can produce 330 megawatts and will account for about 15 per cent of the country’s total output.

The plant is badly needed in Ghana, which has a population of about 25 million but generating capacity of just 2,000 MW, which means it faces frequent blackouts.


Abu Dhabi’s capacity, by comparison, is 10,000 MW to serve a population of 2.2 million.

The lack of power has been one of the most significant factors holding back the country’s development.

Ghana has been unable keep up with annual electricity demand growth of 10 per cent – a factor behind the halving of economic growth in the past couple of years to a projected 3.9 per cent this year.

Taqa will retain 90 per cent ownership of the T2 plant, which can burn either light crude oil or natural gas. Volta River Authority will own 10 per cent and there is a 25-year power purchasing agreement in place.

The T2 plant is the country’s first independent power project and was backed by the World Bank’s private sector financing arm, the International Finance Corporation, with loans from various sources including Opec’s development fund.

“The investment Taqa has made to ensure the success of this project underlines the major positive impact it will have for people locally and for our shareholders in Abu Dhabi through the additional income from the sale of power,” said the Taqa chairman Saeed Mubarak Al Hajeri.

Taqa, which has been struggling to deal with the after-effects of poor speculative upstream investments in North America, has been focusing more on power and other infrastructure operations.

Taqa also started its Bergermeer gas storage facility in the Netherlands this year. It plans to commission two other power and water projects – one in India, the other in Fujairah – later this year.

amcauley@thenational.ae

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