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General News Mon, 14 Aug 2006

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Thermal Plant Guzzles Over $100m Fuel Annually

The board chairman of Takoradi International Company (TICO), Mr. Wrigley Malcolm has has told The Chronicle in an interview that his company is anxiously waiting for the arrival of the West African gas pipeline project to enable them reduce the high cost of crude oil they use in firing the thermal plant.

He said TICO section of the Aboadze thermal plant currently consumes over $100 million worth of crude oil imported from Nigeria annually.

The Chronicle's own investigations revealed that the total cost of crude oil consumed by both TICO and VRA plants at Aboadze is well over $200million annually. Wrigley said this high operating cost is usually passed on to the consumer hence the high cost of power generated from thermal source in Ghana.

According to Wrigley if TICO started using gas from the ongoing gas project to fire the plant, the fuel consumption would be reduced by one third thus making the production of the power very cheap.

When asked whether the arrival of the west African gas would lead to automatic reduction of electricity tariffs paid by Ghanaian consumers, Mr. Wrigley said surely the cost of production would reduce but could not assure that there be corresponding reduction in tariffs.

The board chairman of TICO that is owned by CMS Energy of Michigan in the USA further told this reporter that his outfit produces the power and sold it to the VRA. The latter also sells it to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

This, he noted, meant that it was the ECG and other statutory bodies that determined the tariffs. According to him TICO is currently producing 220 megawatts of power a day.

Out of this 200 is sold to VRA on 24hr basis for onward transmission to consumers.

TICO has meanwhile donated a corn mill; three gas cookers, three gas cylinders and a deep freezer- all valued at 100 million cedis to three institutions in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis.

The institutions are, the Ghana Prisons Service, YMC in Takoradi and an orphanage home at Aboadze.

The three institutions made an appeal to the company to come to their aid.

Mr. Wrigley who, together with the metropolitan chief executive, Philip Kwesi Nkrumah handed over the items to the beneficiary institutions said at the premises of the metro assembly said the decision formed part of their corporate social responsibility.

Source: Chronicle

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