GE touts its technology in booming power sector

GE technology is responsible for some 75percent of thermal power generation in Ghana, and when ongoing projects are completed, it could reach 85percent, Leslie Nelson, CEO of Gas Power Systems and GE Ghana has said.

Whilst it is providing the technology for a number of thermal power projects, it is also a partner investor in some, including the 400megawatts Bridge Power project.

Russel Stokes, a senior Vice President, GE, told the B&FT that the company is committed to the development of the energy sector of Ghana because the country has vision and a plan to execute projects.

“GE technology powers two-thirds of all the power generated in Tema and all the power generated in Takoradi, our two national power hubs. Projects in the pipeline like Amandi, Cenpower, Bridge Power Ph I & II in the pipeline will increase our number to 90percent.
In Ghana, today, we have contributed over 600MW to the grid in the last 24 months with an additional 900MW in the next 2 years,” he said.

Currently, the total electricity demand of the nation, according to the Energy Commission, is 2,533MW for homes, schools, businesses, industries, among others. Even though the hydro and thermal supply chains, the two major sources, have 2,812MW of installed capacity, the only available capacity for consumption is 1,895MW.
Mr. Stokes, who is also the President and CEO of GE Power, explained that GE Power’s 400MW Bridgepower project will be the first LPG fired power plant in Africa and the largest LPG fired power plant in the world.

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He added that the Atuabo Waste to power IPP project will be the first LM2500 plant to use otherwise flared Isopentane gas as a fuel source and will run on GE’s latest and greatest version of the LM2500 engines, whilst the Cenpower IPP project, financed by the AFC, will achieve commercial operation in 2018 and will bring online 350MW of power – enough electricity to power over two million Ghanaian homes.

He noted that the 200MW Amandi power plant will run on 9E technology offering tri-fuel flexibility for the country and will come online in 2019.

“It will run initially on Light Crude Oil (LCO) and switch to indigenous gas from Ghana’s offshore Sankofa natural gas fields once available. The plant will be one of the most efficient power plants in the country and will generate the equivalent power needed to supply more than one million Ghanaian homes,” he added.

Leslie Nelson added that: “We are making projects that maybe wouldn’t happen without a company like ours. We bring the global scale, capabilities to finance and bring on better partners, best in class and bring in consortiums that are rarely seen on this continent. We attract partners that are in there simply because GE is in it.

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90-95percent of the people who work in this office are Ghanaians and so when the lights are out we feel it and when the prices of electricity drop then we all have more money in our pocket. This is not a fly in, fly out culture. We are in here for the long run,” he said.

“We invest in markets and we employ locals to undertake jobs. These people want to see their countries continue to progress on a global stage. We are committed to the country and we want to humbly learn and continue to do whatever we have to do to arrive at the outcomes that Ghanaians are looking for.”

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