THE long-awaited 340MW Kpone Independent Power Project at Tema began commercial operations on 10 June. The project is owned by Cenpower Generation Company and is the first project-financed greenfield thermal plant in Ghana.
Development has been challenging, taking more than a decade, and a dispute with the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor Group Five Power International meant that the plant had to be commissioned by a specially assembled technical team.
The plant uses General Electric Frame 9E gas turbines which can operate using light crude oil, distillate oil or natural gas. Heat recovery steam generators were supplied by Siemens. Cenpower chief executive Theophilus Sackey said negotiations with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), the national gas aggregator, over a gas sales agreement were complete and that the agreement was in the process of being approved by various project stakeholders.
The project has been under development for more than a decade, starting with a group of Ghanaian businessmen who established Cenpower in 2003. InfraCo Africa, part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group, and its developer eleQtra joined in 2005 to assist with project preparation. The Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) acquired a stake in 2010. InfraCo exited the project in September 2014 ahead of financial close in December 2014, and the current shareholding structure took shape with Harith General Partners Ltd and AFC’s Anergi Holdings Ltd (31.85 percent), Sumitomo Corporation (28 percent), Cenpower Holdings (21 percent), African Infrastructure Investment Fund 2’s Mercury Power (15 percent) and the Netherlands’ FMO (4.15 percent).