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Business News of Wed, 3 Aug 20168

We’ll resist ceding of T3 plant to Ameri – VRA workers

Staff of the Volta River Authority (VRA) have served notice they will protest against the Ministry of Power over what they call the interference of the Ministry in the affairs of the authority.

According to them, their proposed action is in response to attempts to cede the T3 plant in the Aboadze thermal enclave, MRP at the Tema Thermal Power station and a parcel of land at the Kpone Thermal Power Station to external parties.

The external parties include AMERI, Sunon-Asogli and the Ghana Power Generation Company (GPGC). A letter sighted by Citi News indicated that the staff intend to “embark on a series of legitimate actions effective Thursday, 4th August 2016.”

The letter, addressed to the Chief Executive of the VRA, explained that the staff “have resolved to utilize all available lawful means to resist the perpetration of unwarranted dissipation of the Authority’s assets.” The staff asserted that the listed entities “are a clear crucial to the sustenance of the Volta River Authority as a major player in the energy sector in Ghana and the West Africa Sub-region.”

“We wish to state unequivocally that we are vehemently opposed to the overt and covert actions of the Ministry of Power which are in clear breach of section 2 Act 46, which establishes the Authority as an autonomous institution.”

History of the T3 plant

The government officially took over the Takoradi 132 MW Thermal Power Plant (T3) on April 2 2013 following a successful completion of the Project and the subsequent successful performance tests conducted by the contractor, Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) on the Plant.

The formal handing over ceremony was held at the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum signifying the commencement of commercial operations of the plant and handed over to the Volta River Authority.

The signing of the Taking-Over Certificate was done by the Minister for Energy and Petroleum, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah and Chief Executive Officer of the VRA, Kweku Awotwi, for the Employer, GoG, while Trudy Kernighan, Canadian High Commissioner, and John Bayley, Vice President of MAGELLAN AEROSPACE, signed on behalf of the Contractor.

Takoradi T3 – Fuel ++ NG/Crude – Installed Capacity ++ 132MW – Dependable Capapcity +++ 125MW. The T3 power plant is rated with a guaranteed net output rating of 127 MW on LCO and 132 MW on natural gas. The gas turbines will operate on LCO until a domestic supply of natural gas is available.

Takoradi T3 was a modular design, meaning that the major systems were prefabricated in the USA and Canada. In the Energy Commission’s 2015 Energy Outlook report, they wrote this about the T3: The 132 MW Takoradi T3 thermal power plant that malfunctioned in 2013 is still not operative but planned for rehabilitation this year.

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The plant suffered a number of operational failures between 2013-2014 but the Canadian supplier has agreed to provide new turbines for the plant. However, search for funding is likely to delay its commercial operations this year. It is more likely to be available in 2016.

Atuabo/Ameri Relationship

The Ameri equipment was sited at Aboadze to take advantage of part of the infrastructure for the T3 Power Plant which is currently not in operation. Again, the gas from the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant originally meant for the T3 will be made available for the running of the units.

Further Concerns

VRA contributed about $70 million, prepared the ground and assisted in the project, with the government of Ghana paying for the rest.

In all the project cost us over $200million – some US$256.

Ameri is to take over T3, retrofit and do other ancillary works, at a cost they believe is beyond what it must be.

They are surprised that a nation that has invested about US$256 million in such a project would decide to hand it over to an entity to fix and run and pay capacity charges which would end up being a burden on the tax payer and the consumer.

They want the plant to be left in the care of VRA.

The government must not cede VRA’s asset to private entities.

The government must assist VRA fix the plant with funds from the various energy and power sector levies or a sovereign guarantee to borrow and fix it and save Ghana from another financially draining power deal which would put a stress on consumers.

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