Business News of 2014-06-24

TICO to add 330MW to national grid

Takoradi International Company (TICO), a power generation firm at Aboadze, near Takoradi, is expected to add 330 megawatts of power to the national electricity grid by December 31, this year.

The company has three plants namely T1, T2 and T3. The Unit 2 of the T2 plant was shut down last week when management of TICO found out that the plant was no longer producing at the optimum level. This was after experts from Wood Group and Ethos Energy based in the United Kingdom had travelled to the country to fix the Simple Cycle Plants (SCPs).

Nana Osafo Adjei, General Manager of TICO, who disclosed this, explained that TICO is a joint venture between TAQA Energy Company of Abu Dhabi and Volta River Authority (VRA). He spoke to journalists after the Energy Minister; Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah had toured the plants to assess the situation.

Nana Osafo Adjei pointed out that the T2 plant currently has the Simple Cycle (SC) installed capacity of 220 megawatts (MW) of power and that the unit 1 of the T2 plant was running with 110 MW which was the base load.

He revealed that Unit 2 of the T2 plant was undergoing refurbishment, explaining that the unit was completed sometime back but the buckets were misassembled. The General Manager of TICO said that his outfit entered into a long service agreement with a contractor called Wood Group and Ethos Energy, who worked on the first unit of the T2 plant which was running.

Nana Osafo added that the work done on the second unit involved gas pack inspection and the tie-in of the combustion turbine. He indicated that it also included the upgrade of the control systems of the combustion turbine and generator.

He added that upon completion of the works, the company observed high vibration on that particular unit and that the technical people evolved a strategy to eliminate the high vibrations which were attributed to the misassembling of the buckets. “Now the buckets are being properly assembled by very senior workers of Wood Group and Ethos Energy and come July 1 this year, the work will be completed,” he stressed.

He pointed out that all things being equal, the Simple Cycle two would be completed and synchronized onto the national grid together with additional 100MW. “That will bring TICO’s current Simple Cycle to 220MW that had been installed. We have done the tie-in of the expansion project on the heat recovery generators and the steam turbine building of the second unit,” he added.

He, however, indicated that the weather and some technical challenges had been adversely affecting the project. He said per the Power Purchase Agreement Completion, the steam turbine generator would soon be completed and an additional 110MW would be added to bring the totality of TICO’s generation to 330MW by the end of the year.

The Energy Minister, Armah Kofi Buah pointed out that erratic power supply was affecting manufacturing and increasing the cost of doing business. He therefore promised that the government would offer the needed support to VRA to build its capacity and ensure maintenance.