VRA wins two top Ghana Energy Awards

The Volta River Authority has been conferred with the two top awards – one for the institution, the other for its chief executive – at the recently held Ghana Energy Awards, held on November 30 at the Movenpick Hotel in Accra.

The awards scheme was organized by Energy Media Group, publishers of the specialized industry journal, Energy Ghana and endorsed by the Ministry of Energy. The event was held with the theme: “Sustainable Energy for a Ghana Beyond Aid.”

VRA was conferred with the headline award as “Energy Company of the Year.”The award was received by Ebenezer Tagoe, Deputy Chief Executive (Finance) on behalf of the Chief Executive, Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa who won the most prestigious individual award up for grabs, as “Energy Personality of the Year.”

VRA’s awards are made all the more prestigious by the sheer caliber of the Awarding Panel that adjudged it and its CEO as the best in Ghana’s energy industry. The eight-person panel included some of the most reputable people in Ghana such as Professor Stephen Adjei, Professor Felix Asante, Professor Joseph Aggrey Finn, Kwame Jantuah and Dr Lawrence Tetteh. It was chaired by Dr Kwame Ampofo, former board chairman of the Energy Commission.

 VRA solely operates a total installed electricity generation capacity of 2,600MW, from the Akosombo and Kpong Generation Stations both located on the Volta River with 1,020MW and 160MWrespectively; with a complement of 2.5MW Solar PV Plant located at Navrongo.

The VRA also owns a number of thermal plants located in Aboadze near Takoradi, and within the Tema enclave, with a capacity of 1,292MW. These thermal facilities operate on a combined cycle and include, the 330MW Takoradi Thermal 1 (T1) Power Plant, 340MW Takoradi Thermal 2 (T2) Power Plant, which is a Joint Venture (JV) between VRA and TAQA from Abu Dhabi, a 110MW Tema Thermal1 Power Plant (TT1PP) a 80MW Mines Reserve Plant (MRP), 49.5MW Tema Thermal 2Power Plant (TT2PP), 38MW Tema Thermal 2 Plant Expansion (TT2PP-X), and a 220MWKpone Thermal Power Plant (KTPP) and a 250MW Ameri Power Plant.As part of the Authority’s expansion programme, VRA is exploring the possibility of repowering the 132MW T3 Plant and also converting the existing220MW Kpone Thermal Power Plant (KTPP) into a combined cycle power plant. The VRA also has plans of replacing the 80MW Mines Reserve Power Plant (MRP) with anew combined cycle technology. Additionally, the development of the 186MW T4Plant at Aboadze is also being explored.

Other collaborations include the VRA and Beijing Fusing Xiaocheng Electronic Technology Stock Company Ltd for the VRA/ BXC Project and the production of700MW Coal Power Project with Shenzhen Energy.

There is the conversion of the Tema, TT1PP/ TCTPP single cycle plants into combined cycle as a Joint Venture with CENIT Energy Limited a subsidiary of SSNIT.

To diversify the Authority’s generation portfolio and assist to achieve the Government of Ghana Renewable Energy (RE) policy, VRA formulated a Renewable Energy Policy to develop and operate RE plants (10% of renewable energy sources) in an efficient, cost effective and environmentally sustainable manner in its generation range.

Accordingly, the first phase of the Renewable Energy Development Programme (REDP) instituted for 2011 to 2015, had a target of developing 14.5MW of Solar PV and 150MW of Wind Energy.

The programme for the second phase set for 2016 to 2020 planned for about 100MW of Solar and 200MW of Wind Energy.

Despite the challenges, the Authority is working with two wind developers, Vestas and El Sewedy, to develop 150MW of wind power at 4 identified sites in the southern part of the country based on wind resource potential.

VRA also aims at expanding its 2.5MW Solar PV Plant at Navrongo in the Upper East Region of Ghana to 7.5MW coupled with a proposed construction of a 20MWSolar PV plant at Bongo both in the Upper East Region of Ghana. The Authority in collaboration with the Government of Ghana, is also working with KfW to finance the construction of an additional 12MW Solar PV plants in Kaleo and Lawra in the Upper West Region of Ghana.

In addition, feasibility studies for a 48MW Pwalugu Multipurpose hydro Dam project is progressing steadily. Preliminary feasibility and ESIA by Mott MacDonald Limited / Eviron Engineering Management Consult indicates very high cost, lower rate of returns and significant environmental and social impacts.