The Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur says demand for electricity in the country has exceeded current installed capacity and it’s still growing.
He also re-emphasised the government’s commitment to develop a reliable and efficient energy sector to provide sustainable power for the economy.
He said the government’s energy development priorities would focus on increasing access to power for all households and productive sectors in order to facilitate economic growth.
The Vice President said this when he cut the sod for the commencement of work on the Kpone Independent Power Plant (KIPP) near Tema, by Cenpower Generation Company Limited.
The 350MW light crude oil and gas powered combined cycle power plant is being financed at a cost of $900million by a Consortium of South African Banks and other partners.
The Kpone Independent Power Plant, which is expected to be completed in 32 months, would have a 161KV substation, fuel supply, storage and treatment infrastructure as well as working capital for fuel.
Besides, the Cenpower plant is uniquely placed adjacent to the West African Gas Pipeline landing point at Tema and close to all the main inter-power connections.
The government has set an energy generation target of 5000MW for the medium to long term to meet projected electricity demand and achieve national energy security with a margin for reserve.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur said the current estimated demand for electricity for the country was growing at about 12 per cent per annum and this had already exceeded the nation’s installed capacity.
He explained that as a result of the increasing demand for power the nation was forced to shed some load during the peak demand.
He said the lack of sufficient and reliable power continued to constrain some businesses and limit their ability to expand to create jobs for the growing population.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur said Government’s partnership with the independent power producers in the development of the energy sector demonstrated its commitment to finding solutions to the insufficiencies in the provision of electricity.
He said the Cenpower plant, when operational in 2017, would increase the installed capacity of the country by 14 per cent based on the current level of 2800MW of generation.
He said at the peak of the construction period about 600 jobs would be created and when operational at least 70 permanent staff would be employed over the 20 year duration of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
Vice President Amissah-Arthur assured the officials of Cenpower of the Government’s readiness to assist them resolve any problem that may arise in the course of the project implementation.
He appealed to the contractors and the sub-contractors to co-operate with the Kpone Community, respect the culture of the people, and refrain from acts that could bring tension and confrontation.
Mr Samuel Nana Brew- Butler, Chairman and Founder of Cenpower Generation Company Limited, said the sod-cutting ceremony by Vice President Amissah-Arthur represented another major achievement in the project’s history.
He said the construction of the state-of-the-art power plant would increase Ghana’s energy supply and facilitate the country’s economic growth.
He said when the plant becomes operational in 2017, it would be a critical base-load component in meeting Ghana’s growing electricity demand accounting for approximately 10 per cent of Ghana’s total installed generation capacity and about 20 per cent of the country’s thermal generation capacity.