June 13, 2024
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Ghana to Choose Company for First Nuclear Power Plant by December

Ghana will select a company by December to build its first nuclear power plant from a shortlist that includes France’s EDF, U.S.-based NuScale Power and Regnum Technology Group, and China National Nuclear Corporation.

The announcement was made by an energy ministry official.

South Korea’s Kepco and its subsidiary Korea Hydro Nuclear Power Corporation, along with Russia’s ROSATOM, were also competing for the decade-long contract, said Robert Sogbadji, deputy director for power in charge of nuclear and alternative energy.

“Cabinet will approve the final choice. It can be one vendor or two nations; it will depend on the financial model and the technical details,” Sogbadji told Reuters on Monday.

According to Reuters, Ghana began exploring the idea of a nuclear power plant in the 1960s, but the initiative was halted by a coup. The plan was revived in 2006 with the help of the International Atomic Energy Association, following a severe power crisis that year.

Sogbadji mentioned that 16 countries and companies had initially shown interest, but the government’s technical team narrowed it down to the current five contenders.

Like many African countries, Ghana is considering nuclear power to address electricity supply gaps. Over 600 million people in Africa currently lack access to electricity.

Burkina Faso and Uganda have signed agreements with Russia and China to build their first nuclear power plants, while Kenya, Morocco, and Namibia are also exploring nuclear energy options.

South Africa, which has the continent’s only operating nuclear plant, aims to add 2,500 megawatts (MW) of nuclear power due to severe power shortages.

Ghana plans to add about 1,000 MW of nuclear power to its electricity mix by 2034. The country, currently dealing with power outages, has 5,454 MW of installed capacity, with 4,483 MW available, according to its energy regulator.

As an oil, cocoa, and gold exporting nation, Ghana expects nuclear power to serve as its base load to accelerate industrialization and increase energy exports to Benin, Ivory Coast, and Togo through the West Africa Power Pool.

Sogbadji also stated that the government has secured a site capable of accommodating up to five reactors. He added that the preferred arrangement would be a “build, own, operate and transfer” model, with opportunities for local equity participation.

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