WAM ABU DHABI, 22nd January, 2014 (WAM) — President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, has invited the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, TAQA, to develop additional power and water infrastructure in his country.
In a meeting with senior executives in Abu Dhabi, he lauded the excellent business relations between the U.A.E. and Ghana, and the role of TAQA in supporting economic growth in the West African nation through its power plant in Takoradi.
"The Takoradi power plant is one of our vital resources. It has a key role in our economic vision, and its potential is key to our growth. And yes, we are looking forward to upgrading that potential, significantly," said President Mahama.
He confirmed that the two sides were in talks about expanding the company’s presence in Ghana.
President Mahama’s comments followed a meeting on Monday with Carl Sheldon, TAQA’s Chief Executive Officer, in the presence of Khalid Al Ghaith, the U.A.E. Assistant Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs, at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
Also present were Emmanuel Buah, Ghana’s Minister of Energy, Frank Perez, TAQA’s Executive Officer and Head of Global Power, and Khaled Al Sayari, TAQA’s Group Vice-President of Strategic Relationships and Public Affairs.
Al Ghaith said, "Co-operation with West Africa and Ghana in particular is a major part of the U.A.E.’s foreign policy agenda, and we are very interested in increasing that co-operation by sharing our expertise in various fields, especially in energy." Perez said, "We have a strong history of close relations with Ghana, and we discussed building on the close co-operation that already exists between TAQA and Ghana’s Volta River Authority, especially over the expansion of the Takaoradi 2 Thermal Power Project, which represents approximately 15% of Ghana’s installed capacity." TAQA raised US$ 330 million in project finance for the expansion of the Takoradi plant last year.
"The finance deal we put together was so successful, it now forms a template for future programmes," said TAQA’s Executive Officer.
Al Sayari commented, "We also discussed TAQA’s interest in the water market in Ghana. Ghana has been asking for the U.A.E. to share its expertise in this field, and so this is another area in which further co-operation could be established." TAQA holds a 90 per cent share in and operates the Takoradi 2 plant while the Volta River Authority (VRA), the main generator of electricity in Ghana, holds the remaining 10 per cent.
In 2011, the plant was converted from an oil-fired plant to one fuelled by natural gas. The current expansion project will increase its output from 220 megawatts (MW) to approximately 330 MW without requiring additional fuel. This represents an addition of 50% capacity without increasing fuel consumption or carbon dioxide emissions.