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Bui generating from first turbine

19 June 2013 – In May 2013, Ghana’s Bui hydroelectric project started generating electricity and added 133 MW to the country’s national grid. The expectation is that all three of the hydroelectric scheme’s turbines will be operational by the end of 2013, though work on the project’s infrastructure will continue into 2014. The 400 MW Bui scheme will be the second largest hydroelectric power station in Ghana, after the 1,020 MW Askombo power station which was built in the 1960s and upgraded in 2006.

The Bui hydroelectric project, which has been under construction for about five years, is being built by Synohydro. Funding for the project comes from the Chinese government and the Export-Import Bank of China, while the Ghanaian government has contributed US$60 million. While the Bui project has now been calculated to cost US$168.4 million more than original estimates, Ghana was able to secure additional funding from China Exim Bank.

Demand for power in Ghana is estimated at 1,400 MW and is rising at 10% a year according to government figures. Other projects currently under way aimed at boosting Ghana’s generation capacity include the Takoradi T3 combined-cycle venture, which will 130 MW to the system using gas pumped in from the associated deposits at the nearby Jubilee oil field. Kpone, a gas fired combined cycle plant under construction, will initially provide an extra 200 MW.

The Takoradi 2 power plant further afield is also earmarked for an expansion, which will boost capacity at the facility from 220 MW to 330 MW. The project is set to be undertaken by the National Energy Company of Abu Dhabi as an independent power project, under government contract. The Volta River Authority, the state electricity company, also plans to sell US$500 million in bonds to pay for four proposed projects that will add 700 MW.