Nuclear power plant as Ghana’s next baseload solution

Nuclear power plant as Ghana’s next baseload solution

Deputy Minister of Energy Andrew Agyapa Mercer in a speech delivered on his behalf of the Energy Minister Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh has acknowledged Ghana needs nuclear power plant to meet its total energy demands.

With nuclear power plant, Ghana stands to benefit from high energy security due to diversified base load fuel mix and access to future green trade market.

According to Ghana’s Energy Ministry, the cost of replacing or switching fuel at transportation sector is estimated at $12.3 billion.

As of May 2023, Ghana have no nuclear power plant for its energy mix. However, the country has expressed interest in developing nuclear power as part of its energy mix to meet the increasing demand for electricity.

In 2015, Ghana signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation to cooperate in the development of nuclear energy. The agreement includes the construction of a nuclear power plant, the establishment of a nuclear research center, and the training of personnel. The government of Ghana has also established the Ghana Nuclear Power Programme Organization (GNPPO) to oversee the development of the country’s nuclear power program.

Speaking at a forum on Ghana’s nuclear power programme by Ghana Nuclear Power Programme Organization (GNPPO) and Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG) in collaboration with JAIF International Cooperation Centre (JICC) Japan in Accra  on Tuesday May 30, 2023, the Deputy Energy Minister Agyapa Mercer said the government is committed to spearheading the volume of task needed to accelerate to the third phase of Ghana’s nuclear power programme.

As Ghana continues to develop its energy sector, the government has announced plans to move forward with the second phase of its nuclear power programme. This phase is set to begin in 2023 and will focus on the construction of a new nuclear power plant.

Ghana’s Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Ministry urged participating institutions to take advantage of the forum for successful outcomes.

The government has stated that the new plant will be built with the latest technology and safety features, ensuring that it meets international standards. The plant is expected to have a lot more capacity of megawatts, which will help to meet the country’s growing energy demands.

Contributing to the debate, Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Mochizuki Hisanobu observed that the forum presents excellent opportunity to discuss peaceful use of nuclear power.

In addition to the construction of the new plant, the government is also investing in the training of personnel to operate and maintain the facility. This includes sending engineers and technicians to other countries with established nuclear power programmes for training and experience.

Representative from US Embassy in Ghana revealed that US government is committed to Ghana’s interest in nuclear power programme.

The second phase of Ghana’s nuclear power programme is expected to bring significant benefits to the country. It will provide a reliable source of energy, reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels, and help to mitigate the effects of climate change. It will also create jobs and stimulate economic growth.

However, there are also concerns about the safety and security of nuclear power. The government has stated that it will take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of the plant and the surrounding community. This includes implementing strict safety protocols, conducting regular inspections, and working closely with international organizations to ensure compliance with international standards.

Meanwhile, Director of Nuclear Power Institute at Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) Prof. Seth Kofi Debrah expressed confidence that establishing nuclear power plant in Ghana is a potential for economic development.

Overall, the second phase of Ghana’s nuclear power programme represents a significant step forward in the country’s energy development. With careful planning and implementation, it has the potential to provide a reliable and sustainable source of energy for years to come.

Director General of Ghana Atomic Energy Commission Prof. Samuel Boakye  Dampare  said “the forum presents opportunity for knowledge transfer. The agenda for accelerating economic growth cannot be achieved based on only fossil fuels because nuclear power is reliable”.

The energy sector in Ghana has been a significant contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the years. The sector has been a major source of revenue for the government, and it has played a crucial role in the country’s economic growth and development.

In 2019, the energy sector contributed about 3.2% to Ghana’s GDP, with a total revenue of about $3.5 billion. The sector’s revenue was mainly generated from the production and distribution of electricity, oil, and gas.

Electricity generation and distribution have been the primary source of revenue for the energy sector in Ghana. The country has a total installed capacity of about 5,083 MW, with about 2,844 MW coming from thermal sources, and the remaining 2,239 MW from hydro sources. The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) is the main distributor of electricity in the country, and it generates revenue from the sale of electricity to consumers.

The oil and gas sector has also been a significant contributor to the energy sector’s revenue in Ghana. The country started commercial oil production in 2010, and since then, it has become a major player in the global oil and gas industry. The sector’s revenue is generated from the exploration, production, and sale of crude oil and natural gas.

In conclusion, the energy sector in Ghana has been a significant contributor to the country’s GDP, and it has generated substantial revenue for the government. The sector’s contribution to the economy is expected to increase in the coming years, as the government continues to invest in the sector’s development.

By: Jerry John Akornor | | Ghana

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