The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has cut the sod for the commencement of construction of the 400-MegaWatt Bridge Power project, the world’s largest LPG-fired power plant.
At the ground-breaking ceremony, at Tema, on Thursday, President Akufo-Addo noted that the $1 billion project is consistent with his government’s vision of making Ghana self-sufficient in electricity for industrial and domestic use, and to drive the country’s socio-economic development.
This project, the President revealed, would be one of several initiatives that will be introduced along the power supply value chain in order to achieve a cost-effective, efficient and sustainable energy sector.
With Ghana not having fared well in negotiations with private power producers in recent years, especially as such agreements were negotiated during emergency periods and times of power shortages, President Akufo-Addo noted that the government he leads, nonetheless, is a natural cheerleader for the private sector, but will do so within the framework of protecting the public purse.
“For us laypersons, our interest in these agreements rests largely on cost, reliability and flexibility. I am glad to learn the plant will be able to operate on LPG, natural gas, and diesel, and this flexibility will allow the plant to continue producing power in times of disruption in the supply of any one of the fuel types.
I am also glad to note that the project has been specifically designed to switch to Ghana’s own natural gas, once available. This should help advance our strategy to leverage natural gas as a long-term source of fuel, central to the operation of the power sector,” he said.
Having announced an ambitious plan to develop and transform the structure of the Ghanaian economy, the President stated that he was looking forward to working with Early Power Limited to help his government fulfill its vision of creating a modern, efficient, diversified, and financially sustainable energy economy.
“I intend to grow this economy industrially, and that can be achieved when we have adequate, cost-effective and sustainable power supply. The programmes this government has lined up to undertake, such as the ‘One District, One Factory’, and the ‘One Village One Dam’ projects, will all require significant amounts of electricity.
The power produced in this country must be cost-effective, efficient and sustainable. I am informed that the technology of this Early Power project is one of the most efficient types in the world, and we are happy you chose it for Ghana,” he said.
As stated in the State of the Nation Address, President Akufo-Addo indicated that his government has commenced actions that will improve transparency in tariff setting, adding that “we aim to introduce very soon a new tariff policy that will reclassify consumer categories in order to protect lifeline and strategic industrial consumers.”
The President assured the private producers of this project that Ghana will be a great place to do business under his watch, indicating further that the sector ministers will work with the private producers to address any challenges that may arise during the implementation of the project.
“It is my expectation that they will be able to address these challenges satisfactorily, for they are all very competent in their domain, but, if, indeed, it becomes necessary, which I hope it will not, to go higher up the chain of authority, I want you to know that my doors will always be open. I do, on the other hand, insist that, on your part, you play according to the rules and regulations of the sector and the country as a whole,” he added.
Whilst pledging to make electricity available under his administration, President Akufo-Addo urged Ghanaians to make sure that electricity is used efficiently.
“Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Switch off fans when not needed. Iron your clothes in bulk. These are just a few, simple actions we can all take. Not only will you be saving money for yourself, but these habits are acts of citizenship and common humanity. For the industrial customers, I urge you to use energy-efficient machinery and equipment at your facilities. These human attitudes prove that, even when you have power, you care enough to save what you do not need so others, too, may have,” he added.