An agreement has been signed to undertake a 1,000 MW gas to power project in Ghana by General Electric (GE), Endeavor Energy and Finagestion. The Ghana 1000 Project as this undertaking is dubbed will be located in western Ghana. It will combine the importation of liquefied natural gas (LNG), a dedicated floating storage and regasification unit (FRSU) to receive, store and regas, while associated infrastructure will transport natural gas on-shore to GE turbines to generate power.

The Ghana 1000 Project consortium is a purely private sector, independent power producer initiative with zero direct financial contribution from the government of Ghana. The government’s role has to been to create an enabling environment and regulatory framework to allow the project partners to fast-track the addition of critically needed power to the national grid. The government will also facilitate a long-term agreement with the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and potentially other power off-takers of the purchase of power from the project. Ghana presently has installed generation capacity of 2,412 MW and dependable generation capacity of 2,125 MW.

The first phase of the project is expected to begin delivering power by early 2017, initially producing 360 MW in simple cycle mode. When completed in early 2018, it will generate more than 540 MW in combined cycle mode. The second and final phase of the project is expected to be implemented before 2019. The combined completion of all these phases will generate in excess of 1,100 MW of power.

Speaking on behalf of the Ghana government, deputy minister of energy, John Janakfpor, says, “ The Ghana government will facilitate and fast track all approvals and permits and provide adequate credit enhancement in a transparent manner.”

Jay Ireland, CEO and president of GE Africa says “The first phase of the project alone will require more than US$20 million of development capital, over US$200 million of equity from the project sponsors and more than US$600 million in debt financing.

“There are strong indications that this initiative will make Ghana a reference point in the use of innovative technology for power generation,” he adds.

An integral part of the project will be the importation of LNG to use as a dedicated fuel source for the project. The Ghana 1000 consortium partners are exploring options with a number of international suppliers. They are also in discussions with a Ghanaian trading company to handle the management and logistics of importing LNG for the project.

Endeavor Energy, an Africa-focused developer and operator of thermal and hydroelectric power projects will together with GE co-lead the development of the project. Endeavor Energy is a portfolio company of leading energy and resources-focused global private equity firm Denham Capital. “The Ghana 1000 Project will be unique as an LNG-to-power project completed in an emerging market and is important to Ghana because it will both add reliable, baseload generation as well as help to lower the cost of power in the country when compared to plants currently running off expensive light crude oil,” Sean Long, CEO of Endeavor Energy says. “Current LNG prices are approximately 35% less than light crude yet most thermal plants in Ghana run on it due to shortage of gas. In fact, recent reports indicate Ghana currently spends more than US$1 million daily to purchase light crude oil for power generation, so the impact of this project on the country’s economy cannot be understated.”

Finagestion is an African utility sector operating group controlling several concessions in water and electricity sectors in Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal. Finagestion is a portfolio company of Emerging Capital Partners (ECP), a pan-African private equity firm and will assume a key role as part owner and operator of the facility and be part of the Ghana 1000 consortium. Chairman of Finagestion and co-CEO of ECP Vincent Le Guennou says, “This is the first time such quanta of power will be produced from a single location in sub-Saharan Africa outside South Africa. The fact that we are putting 1,000 MW on a single site will yield significant savings on account that the power generation units can leverage the same balance of plants parts and staff.”

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