The CEO of TC’s Energy, Mr. Anthony Opoku, has emphatically stated that the company’s power generation from the sea project at Ada Foah, Dangme East District, Greater Accra Region, is on course adding that by the end of 2022 that power will be fed into the national grid at Sogakope, in the Volta Region.
The project which the Ghana-based company is executing alongside Seabased, a Norway/Sweden consortium will see TC’s Energy and the foreign partners generate an initial 100MW from the Atlantic Ocean which will be ramped up to 1000 megawatts within 20 years.
He explained that the greatest hindrance the project has faced has been securing the financing to execute it but this has now been overcome paving way for actual construction of the undersea facilities, including the turbines, to begin later this year.
Generating power from the sea however comes at lesser cost compared to conventional hydro facilities and thermal power plants, as the volume of the sea water never fluctuates and therefore is not affected by the vagaries of the weather and this therefore guarantees steady and reliable power generation and supply all year round.
Studies, Mr. Opoku revealed, have shown that the sea waves at Ada have the right height and strength to turn undersea turbines and generate the needed power using the same technology employed in generating power from inland rivers.
He explained that the pilot project at Ada has proved immensely successful and the company too is using the findings to correct some technical challenges which will ensure that the project comes on stream successfully.
‘Energy experts elsewhere we have discussed with have accepted that the technology is good and the project viable; they are encouraging us because they know what is involved and the level of its viability,’ he added.
He also explained that the unexpected delays have also enabled his company and its technical partners to fine tune and redesign the machines to be more efficient while collaborating with a multinational company which is currently assessing the technical profitability of the project. In addition, TC’s Energy is also having further talks with other willing financiers and potential co-investors.
TC’s Energy, he revealed, has signed various memorandum of understanding, (MOUs) with many foreign companies while a local bank and insurance company are on board taking care of the banking and insurance needs of the project.
The biggest challenge the project faces, he explained, is that many do not understand the technology being deployed hence their reluctance to fully commit themselves into it.
For now, according to Mr. Opoku, US$200m is available for the commencement of the project; the technical aspect has been fully sorted out while 95% of financing has also been secured with both local and foreign banks geared up and rearing to go.
The initial investment is high, he admitted, but explained that the cost to consumers will be reduced as the 2022 completion date for phase one of the project draws closer meaning the initial US$0.10 per kilowatt hour cost could be reviewed downwards most especially when the company increases its power generation capacity.
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