Monday, December 13, 2010

President lauds Siemens, Atholl power project

Monday, December 13, 2010
By Edmund Mingle
President John Evans Atta Mills has commended Siemens Energy and Atholl Energy for their active participation in the country’s energy sector, as the group prepares to undertake the second phase of a 180 mega watt power generation plant to augment the nation’s power supply. According to the President, the energy sector was critical to the growth of the economy, and therefore it was important that the private sector played an active role to achieve energy sufficiency to support industry and business operations.

President Mills gave the commendation when the executives of Siemens Industrial Gas Turbines and Atholl Energy called on him at the Castle on Friday to brief him about the expansion plan for the power project.

The first phase of the Tema Thermal II Power Plant, Ghana’s first modular gas turbine power station, producing 50mega watt of electricity from five turbines, has been completed and handed over to the VRA for operation by the group.

As part of the second phase, the Siemens is proposing to expand the capacity and increase production from the current 50MW to 120MW and a further increase to 180MW if preferred by the government.

President Mills endorsed the group’s plan for the expansion, stressing the need for various opportunities to be utilized to enhance power production in the country.

The government, he assured would fully cooperate with the group to ensure that the objectives of investing in the power plant were achieved for the benefit of Ghanaians.

Nick Muntz, Managing Director of Siemens Energy, the world’s second largest manufacturer of gas turbines which are primarily used for electricity generation and in the offshore oil and gas industry, who lead the delegation, thanked the President for the support.
He said the group shared in the government’s development vision and would offer the necessary investment support towards power generation and job creation.

The plant, which was initiated under the emergency power programme as part of measures to enhance power generation to meet the growing power needs of households and businesses in the country, he explained could also run on diesel if gas was not available.
“The plant will operate on gas full time as part of Ghana’s base load electricity generation from January 2011,” he said.

Phase II, he said involved the changing of the plant from a single cycle to combined cycle, with the addition of three gas turbines, through which exhaust heat will be collected and used to drive the steam turbines.

“Operating on combined cycles with gas fuel, the station will be very economic and meet the highest standards f efficiency and low environmental impact,” he stressed.

The group, he said, was committed to providing technical capacity and global solutions to enable the government to achieve the better Ghana agenda for the benefit of Ghanaians.

Thomas Svanikier, Chairman of Atholl Energy, the contractors for the multi-million dollar project, for his part, thanked the government and partners for the cooperation which led to the successful completion of the first phase, “saying this is the best executed power project in Ghana in the last five years.”

In addition, he said the group would continue to contribute to the development of the energy sector through undertaking other projects that would help in achieving the government’s objective of increasing total power generation to 5000 MW by 2012.

Edward Effah, Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, which provided financial backing for the project, assured the government that the bank would lead a syndication to finance the second phase of the project.

1. President Mills holding discussions with Nick Muntz (left) during the courtesy call.
2. A section of the power plant in operation at Tema.


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