The powership, which has capacity to produce 470MW, shut down in the early hours of today to enable it to set sail to Sekondi on Thursday, August 15 and dock at the home port of the Western Naval Command in Sekondi, where it will plug into natural gas supplies from the country’s oilfields.
The move is important to save the country costs of using fossil fuel to generate thermal power from its base at the Tema Fishing Harbour.
The Corporate Communication Specialist at Karpower, Ms Sandra Amarquaye, explained that the Karpowership would be off the grid from today to prepare for relocation to the Western Region.
The powership, she said, would depart the Tema Fishing Harbour on Thursday, August 15, 2019 and berth at its new location the next day.
In the light of the relocation, Ms Amarquaye said the powership would be off the national grid for a maximum period of 17 days to enable the engineers to carry out various pre-commissioning works to successfully connect to the 330KV transmission lines in Sekondi.
The reverse flow cushionsSources within the power sector told the Daily Graphic that the 450MW power shortfall would be filled by a number of measures, including the power from some dormant thermal plants in the Eastern power enclave within Tema and Kpone in the Greater Accra Region.
The reverse flow of gas completed recently to transport natural gas from Aboadze in the Western Region to Tema has increased the power generation capacity of some ‘redundant’ thermal plants.
The Western Region has some ‘stranded’ (unutilised) gas from the country’s oil and gas fields since November last year.
Some of the power plants currently using gas from the Western Region include Sunon Asogli Power Plant, Tema Thermal 1 Plant (TT1PP) and the Tema Thermal 2 Plant (TT2PP), Aska and the Kpone Thermal Power Plant (KTPP).The use of heavy fuel oil and light crude oil to generate power and the inability to off-take excess gas resulted in the expensive cost of power generation, which necessitated the reverse flow pipelines to transport excess natural gas from the power enclave in the West (Aboadze) to the East (Tema) to fire redundant plants.
It also resulted in the take-or-pay contracts that the country is paying without using lean natural gas (LNG)?from offshore Ghana.
The relocation is said to be in line with the government’s strategic policy for the powership to utilise natural gas from the current active oilfields in the Tano Basin offshore Cape Three Points in the Western Region.
The movement of the powership, which has been postponed many times, will save the country millions of dollars annually as the gas will replace the expensive light crude oil and other fossil fuel derivatives the plant uses to generate power.
Its relocation will also cut the cost of transporting the gas from the regulatory and metering station of Ghana National Gas Company (Ghana Gas)?in the Shama District via the West African Gas Pipeline to Tema in the South Eastern part of the country.
After the 17 days
The country’s gas fields are endowed with more than five trillion standard cubic feet (mscf) of natural gas, with the current daily production pegged at over 300 million standard cubic (mmscf) from the oilfields of Jubilee, Tweneboa, Enyera and Ntomme (TEN) and Sankofa oilfields.
The Karpowership is expected to utilise about 90 million (mscf) of natural gas per day.
Industry watchers said the early move of the powership to Sekondi was because the construction of the transmission lines and a switchyard was ready, hence the need to prepare the power, generating units (plants) before gas arrived.
“The movement to Sekondi on Thursday is not to say that the natural gas is ready, but it is important to note that there are processes after the relocation, such as connecting the transmission lines and other pre-commissioning and commissioning activities, hence the need to move now,” Ms Amarquaye said.
“While we wait for the Ghana Gas to ship gas through the lines to us, we will be ready after the 17 days and run on the heavy fuel oil (HFO) and when the natural gas is ready, we will switch to it,” she explained.
On arrival in Sekondi, “Karadeniz will start the conversion of its generation frames to run on gas, which will be gradual, probably two units at a time, until all the units are on line,” a source close to the processes said.
Checks by the Daily Graphic indicate that Ghana Gas has completed its onshore and marine pipelines to link its platform to that of the powership and the metering station.
Ghana Gas is expected to begin the tie-in process on September 6, 2019 to last for about 75 days.
The national gas processing company will complete its processes in the middle of November to enable the testing and transmission of natural gas for the generation of 450MW by the powership to start on November 20, 2019.
The 470MW capacity powership, twice the size of the initial 225MW Karpower barge, arrived during the ‘dumsor’ days in the country around 2016.
The powership named as Karadeniz Powership Osman Khan started operating in the Tema Fishing Harbour in September 2017.
The arrival of the ship was in consonance with the Power Purchase Agreement signed with the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) that requires Karpowership Ghana Company Limited to provide a total of 450MW capacity and directly feed into the national grid for 10 years.
With the arrival of the 470MW capacity powership, the 225MW barge worked alongside the current powership for about a month until Osman Khan was well stabilised.
Th 225MW barge was decommissioned and moved out of the country.