The Volta River Authority (VRA) has begun test transmission of the first unit of the newly built Kpone Thermal Power Plant (KTPP). The plant, when fully completed, would have an installed capacity of 220 megawatts (MW) .
The first unit, whose test transmission began on April 26, is currently generating 100 megawatts being fed into the national grid. Known as the hot commissioning process, the test run would identify minor challenges in the installation of the plant ahead of the beginning of production at the plant.
Work on the Simple Cycle Thermal Power Project commenced in 2012 and involves the construction of two gas turbines at $220 million. Each turbine will produce 110 megawatts of electricity.
The dual-fuel turbines could be operated on natural gas and distillate fuel oil. It is currently running on distillate fuel oil.
Kpone Thermal Power Plant
The KTPP is a government of Ghana/VRA project which is expected to be inaugurated later this year by President John Mahama.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors at the VRA, Mr Lee Ocran, who briefed journalists after a meeting of the board at the site last Thursday, said the second unit of the plant would come on stream by the end of this month (May).
Combined cycle plant
He hinted that the VRA intended to convert it into a combined cycle plant to generate 330 MW and later double the generation capacity to 700MW of power.
Mr Ocran explained that the project was part of the government’s programme to generate 5,000 MW of power and help Ghana become a hub in West Africa.
He said the plant was purchased several years ago by the government of Ghana, but the money for its installation failed to come so the VRA decided to take up the installation on its own balance sheet.
For now, Mr Ocran said, the plant would run on diesel until such time that natural gas would be available.
The board chairman commended the engineers working on the plant for their hard work and dedication which had culminated in the plant running currently.
The Chief Executive Officer of VRA, Engineer Kirk Coffie, said as part of the hot commissioning process, readings and parameters were being checked and measured to determine the baseline conditions of the plant to ensure it operated effectively and efficiently when fully inaugurated.