The Karadeniz Powership Aysegul Sultan on Tuesday began its journey from the Sedef dockyard in Tuzla to Ghana and will dock at the Tema port at most in 15 days, officials say.
Named after the sister of the Chairman of Karadeniz Holding, the floating power station, will add an installed capacity of 240 MW of power to the national grid, that is 15 MW more than originally planned.
The Powership sets sail at exactly 1220 hours Turkish time (0920 hours Ghana Time).
Dr Kwabena Donkor, Minister of Power, who joined other Ghanaian officials in the dockyard in Tuzla for the send-off ceremony, said: “Ghana is eagerly waiting for the vessel to arrive at its shores.”
“It has been a tortuous journey but one that we are proud of. The relationship between Ghana and Turkey has been good,” he said, adding that the partnership was a demonstration of South-South Cooperation.
“We are looking forward to more cooperation between the two countries,” he said.
Dr Donkor described the Powership as a very valuable addition to the various projects government was implementing to tackle the country’s energy challenges, adding that two new projects were also in line to expand generation.
He said the Powership would meet 10 per cent of power demand required now and its use of heavy fuel would remove the limitation that the utilisation of natural gas could impose.
Dr Donkor said Ghana was exploring other alternative sources of power to be able to bridge the demand and supply gap going into the future and that the growth projection would determine the generating mix to explore.
Access to electricity in Ghana is about 80.5 per cent and currently demand at peak periods stands at 2,120 megawatts.
Dr Donkor urged businesses seeking investment in Africa to look to Ghana first as it was strategically positioned
“We are excited to bid farewell to our two ships that were constructed domestically in all phases from designing, engineering and building to financing to Ghana and Indonesia,” the Chief Executive Officer Karadeniz Holding Orhan Remzi Karadeniz said at the ceremony.
He said the Powerships would help bring development to Ghana and expressed the hope that it would bring prosperity, peace and happiness.
Mr Karadeniz said all things being equal the second Powership should be ready by the second half of 2016 to bring its contribution to the Ghanaian energy sector to 450MW installed capacity.
Chief Executive of GRIDCo William Amuna, said the company was ready to hook up its transmission lines to the Powership within a week of its arrival at the Tema port.
Robert Dwamena, the Managing Director Electricity Company of Ghana, said: “It has been a long winding road that has reached an expected end.”
Karpowership Ghana Company Limited, a subsidiary of Karadeniz Energy Group, the energy wing of the Turkey-based Karadeniz Holding, in June 2014 signed a ten-year power purchase agreement with the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).
Under the deal, the company will build two electricity-generating vessels to produce over 450 MW of power, which is expected to contribute about 22 per cent to the country’s electricity needs.
The project, dubbed “Power of Friendship for Ghana”, is the first powership project in Africa.
The Aysegul Sultan Powership is expected to start producing electricity in Ghana by the end of November. GNA