ABOUT 200 energy experts have begun a two-day meeting in Accra on formulate modalities for making Ghana the energy hub in Africa.
Dubbed the “Powering Africa-Ghana” the summit is offering the participants the opportunity of engage players of the country’s public sector, to accelerate the development of in renewal energy and gas.
Topics being discussed include, “unlocking Ghana’s power potential, establishing Ghana as a regional hub for power distribution, generation capacity through capital access, strategy for diversifying the energy mix and Eexploring renewable and alternative energy generation.
It is on the theme: “Unlocking Ghana’s Power Potential, Establishing Ghana as a Regional Hub for Power Distributing, driving generation capacity through capital Access, Exploring renewable and alternative energy generation”.
The Minister of Power, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, opening the workshop, urged the participants to adopt innovative ways of project financing so as to provide comfort to lenders who would make funds available to the sector for such projects.
According to him, “traditional tools such as sovereign guarantees, government consent and support agreements and guarantees were no longer available. It therefore, behoved all market players to look at other innovations to secure the necessary project financing.”
He said over five billion dollars was needed in the next five years to make Ghana the regional hub of power generation, adding that “the private sector has historically faced such challenges as the Ghanaian economy grew more resilient through investment in the power sector”.
Dr. Donkor noted that substantial progress had been made as a result of deliberate efforts to develop local industries through the creation of enabling environment to assist both state and non-state actors to add substantial capacity to the generation mix.
The minister said the government had adopted a number of generating assets that included the 220Megawatts (MW) thermal plant, the 110MW TAPCO plant the 225MW Karpower barge and the 110MW TAPCO Steam, all to ensuring that the short term measures were met.
He said that the ministry was working round the clock with the private sector to ensure adequate supply of gas to the country’s generating plant.
Dr. Donkor said expansion work on the generation mix, including coal powered technology would help in increasing power generation.
The minister said the Electricity Company of Ghana was being structured to conform to expansion reforms towards responding to proactive customer demand and satisfaction.
He said the necessary human capital was abound in the country and urged stakeholders to pool resources to meet the demand of consumers.
Dr. Donkor assured that the government had put in place a local content and local participation policy backed by appropriate legislation to enhance indigenous participation in the sector.
By Lawrence Vomafa-Akpalu, Claude Adams