Power into Africa

WorleyParsons making progress on Ghana thermal power plant

Aerial shot of the Kpone site.png

WorleyParsons is making progress on a design engineering contract to provide concept design, detail design, procurement support, construction and commissioning support to Group Five Power International, the Engineer Procurement  & Construction (EPC) contractor on the Kpone Independent Power Plant (KIPP) project in Ghana.  

The USD 410M power plant will provide urgently needed low cost, reliable and efficient thermal power to the deregulated Ghanaian power market.

Kobus van der Merwe, Project Manager, WorleyParsons RSA, says WorleyParsons has been supporting Group Five from June 2014 on procurement of the major equipment, including the gas turbine, steam turbine and heat recovery steam generator.

“WorleyParsons’ design effort will be undertaken through two main offices – our Johannesburg office and our office in Reading, USA, which is our Group’s global centre of excellence for gas turbine power plants, specialising in combined cycle power plants.  The Reading team brings to the table a depth of experience in the global gas turbine-based power generation arena, while our Johannesburg team has the advantage of relationships with local suppliers and manufacturers and project execution in Africa. We’re delighted to be working on a project of this calibre, because we regard it as a gateway to the entire region, where there is a significant need for electricity.”

 Van der Merwe adds that one of the key challenges with the KIPP project is the use of seawater to cool the steam condenser. The seawater extraction point is 1200m offshore and the discharge point 375m offshore. The seawater cooling system is designed to use free flow or gravity flow to get the seawater in site and then back to sea. The construction of these seawater pipes will be by micro tunnelling and is on the critical path of construction due to the anticipated construction period of about 20 months.

He continues “The plant will be of a modern, efficient and flexible design and will meet all relevant safety and environmental standards.  It will be capable of operating on three different types of fuel: natural gas, distillate fuel and light crude oil (LCO). Fuel gas will be supplied through a connection to the nearby West African Gas Pipeline, while distillate fuel and LCO will be supplied from a fuel oil tank farm located next to the site. Prior to the arrival of a permanent gas supply on site, it is expected that the power station will operate predominantly on LCO with a distillate fuel back-up.”

Power generated by the plant will be supplied directly to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), the main distribution utility through the Ghanaian grid.

Cenpower Generation Ltd, a Ghanaian company specifically set up for this greenfield project, awarded Group Five the 33-month contract in August 2014 to design, build and commission the power plant in the municipality of Kpone in the Tema industrial zone. This will be the single biggest IPP in Africa and has been hailed as an iconic project.

It is the first IPP to receive the majority of its debt finance from African banks and African financial institutions. It is also Ghana’s first licensed thermal power plant and the first project-financed greenfield thermal plant.  The financial transactions for this project were internationally recognised by the London based PFI Awards as Africa’s most outstanding power deal of 2014. The PFI Awards are part of the Thomson Reuters Awards for Excellence, recognising corporate and individual success in the global financial industry.

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