Ghana is not building a coal plant – Minister

Category: General News, Lead 608

mahama-ayarigaDespite Ghana expressing intentions to, the Minister of the Environment, Mahama Ayariga says, the country isn’t building a coal plant.

He explained that an application has been made for a permit to build a coal plant in Ghana, but the permit hasn’t been granted yet.

In 2013, in the middle of the country’s energy crisis, a Chinese company proposed to build a coal-fired power plant in Ghana at a cost of $700 million, with coal imported from South Africa.

The announcement was made by the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, in a press release issued July 5, 2013 and copied to ghanabusinessnews.com.

According to the release, the Chinese company, Shenzhen Energy Group (SEG), which is the mother Company of Sonon Asogli, an Independent Power Producer in the power sub-sector made the proposal to the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Mr. Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah during a visit in Accra.

The release indicated that the Minister, pledged the Ministry’s support for the project and requested SEG to present a roadmap of the project to the Ministry as soon as possible, highlighting the role the Ghana government can play to bring the project to fruition.

And in May 2016 the Volta River Authority (VRA), announced the construction of a $1.5 billion coal power plant to be started in April 2017.

The coal plant, it said would be sited at Ekumfi Aboano in the Ekumfi District of the Central Region.

The three and halve year power plant project completion, which is undertaken by the VRA and China’s Shenzhen Energy Corporation is funded by the China African Development Fund.

Apparently, it is the same coal plant announced by that same Chinese company, but with a possibly adjusted cost of $1.5 billion.

But answering questions from journalists today at a press briefing with the Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, Gina McCarthy, at the US Embassy in Accra, where the two shed light on collaborations between the two countries to work at addressing the challenges of air and water pollution, Mr. Ayariga told journalists emphatically that Ghana is not building a coal plant.

“I don’t think we are setting up a coal plant. Somebody has put in an application to set up a coal power plant, he hasn’t been given permission to set up a coal power plant. I am not sure that there will be a permit issued to anyone to set up a coal power plant in Ghana,” he said, adding that “having gone to deposit the our instrument of ratification of the Paris Agreement, we will not come back home and be permitting coal plants. Be rest assured that nobody has permission to build a coal power plant.”

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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