Power Sector

Our commitment to the energy sector is unwavering, says Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo says his government’s commitment to improving the power generation industry in Ghana remains fixed and steady

President Akufo-Addo says his government’s commitment to improving the energy sector in Ghana is unwavering and that it will continue in every way possible to strive to attain the goal of making the country a net exporter of power in the West African sub-region.

The president reiterated this commitment when he addressed a ceremony to commission the Kpong GS Retrofit Project in Akuse, in the Eastern Region, today (26 October 2020), on the second day of his four-day tour of the Greater Accra Region and bordering areas.

“Government will continue with its efforts to support the energy sector so that it can address all the challenges it faces, particularly the considerable financial burden on the sector posed by the excess power capacity contracted by the Mahama government.

“Our determination to make Ghana a net exporter of electricity to the region is unwavering,” President Akufo-Addo said.

President Akufo-Addo commissions the retrofitted Kpong Power Generating Station

To this end, President Akufo-Addo charged the Volta River Authority (VRA), which has been in the export trade for power for half a century, “to ensure that it expands the frontiers of its current operations to countries like Mali, which require an additional electricity supply to meet their development needs”.

Renewable energy

The president said his government is also keeping a close eye on the renewable energy industry.

He announced that the government has a grand plan for the sector which has already taken effect with the start of construction work on the Pwalugu Multipurpose Dam and the 6.5-megawatt solar power plants in Kaleo and Lawra.

“The government will continue to support renewable energy development such as hydro, solar and wind,” President Akufo-Addo said.

Kpong Generating Station Retrofit Project (KGSRP)

From its inception 30 years ago, the Kpong station operated reliably until the early part of 2000, when the power generating components started experiencing higher than normal failures and forced outages.

In addition, it was very difficult to procure spare parts for repair works at the station as much of the plant equipment became obsolete and the original equipment manufacturers (OEM) no longer manufactured the required parts.

Owing to the ageing of equipment and lack of critical spare parts, the machinery became obsolete and could not keep up with emerging technologies and the increased energy demand. A technical audit of the Kpong Generating Station (Kpong GS) was conducted in 2006 by Acres International (now Hatch Ltd, the original engineering consultants on the Kpong hydro project). This recommended the rehabilitation of the Kpong Power Plant to ensure reliable operation for the next 30 years.

President Akufo-Addo gets a briefing on the operations of the retrofitted power station

To achieve this, in 2013 the Volta River Authority (VRA) engaged Andritz Hydro-Austria as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor and Hatch Energy as the owner’s engineer (OE) to implement a plant rehabilitation project.

The objective of the KGSRP was to upgrade the electromechanical components of the four generating units of the plant to bring the station up to “as new” condition and guarantee power generation for the next 30 years.

Scope of project

The project scope covered replacement of turbine governors, exciters, generator stator windings, control systems to programmable logic controller (PLC) based systems, existing electromechanical relays to numerical relays, generator switchgear, the 400VAC distribution system, unit motor control centres (MCCs), station battery system, installation of 5KVA inverter and a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system in the main control room.

The newly commissioned retrofitted Kpong Power Generating Station in Akuse, Eastern Region

Project cost and funding

The Government of Ghana (GoG) secured a loan facility of €50 million from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), which was on-lent to VRA to finance the Kpong Generating Station Retrofit Project. Out of the loan facility, €42.75 million was used for the retrofit project and the remainder for contingency and other studies.

The initial project scoping envisaged the rehabilitation of most of the components from the experience gained from similar works on other hydro plants and the Akosombo Generating Station, run by the VRA. However, the dismantling of the units exposed additional repair and replacement work requirements to achieve the intended objective.

In order to meet the additional financing needs made necessary by the increased scope, the VRA secured an additional loan of €12.5 million through the Government of Ghana from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to cover payments for EPC.

This funding also covered the cost of spare parts for five years, as set out in the contract, provision a warehouse facility for the spare parts, and special tools and equipment used forthe project.

VRA also contributed €4.4 million from its own resources to complete the funding required for the project.

Click on the link to listen to President Akufo-Addo.


Wilberforce Asare / Asaase Radio

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