Sunon-Asogli Power plant in Ghana looks up to LNG for fuel security

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Managers of the Sunon-Asogli plant, a subsidiary of Shenzhen Energy Group of China, are working to secure supply of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to power their plants in Ghana, a top official told Xinhua here on Tuesday.

Li Xiaohai explained in an interview on the sides of the two-day Maiden Ghana Energy Summit that the need for securing LNG was to have a reliable fuel supply for the plant in the face of the unreliability of gas supply from Nigeria through the West African Gas Pipe Company (WAPCO).

“My understanding is that gas from the Western Region is more expensive than what you can get from WAPCO and what you can get from LNG. Actually, it is difficult but we are continuing in doing our investment,” he said

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He added that the company was trying to solve some of the fuel issues on its own and “trying to work with Trojan Power Company to get some small LNG supply this year so that we can solve the fuel problem and generate whole capacity of the plant for the country”.

The power company completed its expansion project with an additional 360 mega watts (360 mw) of thermal generation capacity. Although this brings total generating capacity to above 500 MW, Li said only half of this was operational due to the lower than expected gas supply from Nigeria.

“We don’t have sufficient gas coming from WAPCO. As we speak now, we have only around 30 MMscf per day from WAPCO and that is only sufficient for us to run one of the machines from the phase two machine.”

“And another machine has been converted into LCO (Light Crude Oil). So, luckily, we can have some LCO to run the machine. But the whole phase one of 200 MW is idle, without fuel. So, we are trying to solve it with some LNG supply,” the Chairman disclosed.

Gas supply from Nigeria has been anything but encouraging, as against contracted volumes of 133 MMscf/d; the West Africa Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCO) supplies gas below 50 MMscf/d.

The Chairman also hinted of plans to start a wind power and a clean coal project in Ghana which feasibility studies are already underway.

He informed Xinhua that the company had been talking about wind farm which could quickly be brought on board.

However, in the long-term Sunon-Asogli is working with the state power producer, Volta River Authority ( VRA), and Ministry of Energy to put up a coal-fired power plant in the country which can supply reliable and affordable electricity for the country.

“The total power plant we are looking at can be around 2000 mw. It’s a big one but in the initial stage we will start with 700 MW with the possibility for the expansion in future.”

The cost of the initial 700 megawatts, according to Li, will be around 1.5 billion dollars. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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