GE is to build sub-Saharan Africa’s largest power plant in Ghana, CEO Jeff Immelt said this week.
The five-year, $1bn ‘Ghana 1000’ project aims to boost the nation’s power generation capacity by 50 per cent from its current installed capacity of 2 GW.
At the heart of the project will be a liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fired power plant coupled with a floating LNG storage unit. The integrated gas-to-power solution is expected to lower the cost of electricity, GE said, as well as reducing Ghana’s dependence on crude oil for power production.
In its first phase the project aims to add around 750 MW to the national grid by 2017, with an additional plant to be completed by 2019. In total, a generation capacity of around 1200 MW is planned.
Speaking at a meeting with Immelt on Tuesday, Ghanaian President John Mahama said: ““Even though we call it Ghana 1000, the power will be a bit above 1000 [MW]. This will be the single largest injection of power into our transmission grid in history.” Ghana’s current largest power source is the 1020 MW Akosombo hydroelectric plant on the Volta River in the country’s southeastern region.
In addition to the project, Immelt said GE will provide emergency power to Ghana this summer in a bid to address its chronic power shortages.
“We stand ready to be a great partner for emergency power by the summer and also we’ll invest and bring together some other investors to make this [thermal project] happen,” he said.