The Karadeniz Energy Group has given indication it will use its “strong operating base in Ghana,” to spearhead its expansion into the West African sub-region, and the African continent at large.
Talking about the company’s future at the official commissioning of the 470MW Osman Khan powership at the Tema Fishing Harbour, CEO of the group, Orhan Remzi Karadeniz, said his outfit would be “proud” to play a part in making Ghana an energy hub for the sub-region.
“We are now looking forward to relocating to Sekondi within the next year, start operating with Ghana’s indigenous gas, continue to be lowest cost and most reliable solution partner for Ghana, and spearheading our expansion into the region – ECOWAS and the continent – from our strong operating base in Ghana,” he said.
The company is yet to move away the first powership, the 235MW Aysegul Sultan, which Osman Khan replaced.
An industry source told the B&FT that this could be because the company is looking at other energy markets in the sub-region, possibly Togo, Burkina Faso or Nigeria.
“I mean, why would they be in a rush to take it away when there is such a huge energy deficit in the sub-region?” the source said. “It could well be left here; transmission lines could deliver the power to say Burkina Faso or Togo, with transmission charges attached.”
According to Orhan Remzi Karadeniz, the company is inching closer to hitting 5000MW of generation capacity across the globe, with a powership being added to its fleet almost every month.
Osman Khan to use local gas
The 470MW Karpowership Osman Khan, Mr Karadeniz disclosed, will soon be moved from the Tema Fishing Harbour to Sekondi in the Western Region, in readiness for gas from the Sankofa project.
The thermal generating plant, which has been fitted onto a ship, is dual fuel in nature, and is currently running on Heavy Fuel Oil.
Running it on gas is expected to reduce the cost of generation and to reduce tariffs for consumers.
The powership, which replaced the 235MW Aysegul Sultan, was officially commissioned last Thursday, although it was connected to the national grid back in October.
The Sankofa project is expected to inject some 170 million cubic feet of gas per day into the system by 2018, for which uses have to be found.
There is a take or pay agreement between ENI and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation over the Sankofa gas.
The GNPC provided the US$100million guarantee for the powership, with the understanding that once the said gas becomes available, the powership would be switched from HFO to gas.
At a ceremony to formally open the powership, at the Tema Fishing Harbour, CEO of Karadeniz Energy, Orhan Remzi Karadeniz, expressed gratitude to the government of Ghana for believing in the company’s ability to deliver on the contract.
The company, he said, takes pride in giving Ghana the largest powership ever built in the world, which provides thermal power at the cheapest cost in the country.
“Together with our all stakeholders and government agencies, we have demonstrated that Ghana can execute and sustain cost effective infrastructure projects, transform its economy, optimise utilisation of its own natural resources and reduce dependence on import sources,” Mr Karadeniz said.