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Power Barge To ‘Drink’ $9m Oil - Every Month

Power Barge To ‘Drink’ $9m Oil - Every Month File Photo

The 125-megawatts power barge is expected to consume about 30,000 metric tonnes of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) every month at a cost of between $7 million and $9 million, depending on current crude oil price movements.

If the power barge was using crude oil, the 30,000 metric tonnes would cost between $11 million and $12 million a month.

An offshore storage facility that will supply fuel to the power barge is expected to arrive at Tema Port by the end of this week.

Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) is funding the provision of the fuel upfront, which will be supplied by Trafigura, a global trading business, including the supply and offtake of crude oil, petroleum products and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and Karpowership Ghana will reimburse GNPC with proceeds from power sold.

Mr Dennis Baidoo, Import and Export Manager of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), the company funding the supply of the HFO, told The Finder that the initial plan to construct an onshore storage tank with pipelines connecting the tank to the power barge has been abandoned due to logistical and time constraints.

He explained that the offshore storage facility would fuel the power barge throughout the entire period that the power barge would be in Ghana.

According to him, the power barge from Karpowership Ghana Company Limited, a subsidiary of Turkish Karadeniz Holding, is coming with a shuttle vessel which would evacuate fuel HFO from the offshore storage facility to fuel the power barge.

Mr Baidoo disclosed that the offshore storage facility that would arrive by the end of this week has a capacity of between 60,000 and 70,000 metric tonnes of HFO.

However, he said after three months, this vessel would be replaced by a bigger offshore storage facility with a capacity of more than 100,000 metric tonnes of HFO.

He explained that at any point in time, the offshore storage facility should have 60,000 metric tonnes of fuel available for use by the power barge.

Mr Baidoo said the re-fuelling of the offshore storage facility would be carried out every other month to ensure continuous supply.

GNPC guaranteed the first barge at a cost of $50 million because it is be the main supplier of fuel to the barges. 

According to the company, the corporation needs to find uses for the Sankofa Gas, or the country will pay penalties to ENI, which will produce the gas.

The barges will start operation with HFO, and then as soon as ENI gas comes on-stream, the barge will rely on the gas as fuel. 

One of the conditions of ENI for the Sankofa project to go on is that GNPC must ensure that it has capacity to take the gas.

 The World Bank has already warned that if care is not taken there could be a gas glut in the country in the next couple of years as government and its private sector partners pursue both local gas and LNG projects.

The Sankofa project is expected to inject some 170 million cubic feet of gas per day into the system by 2018; at the same time, both Quantum Power and General Electric are working to bring in LNG.

If the country does not make ready enough power plants to absorb all the gas, the country could be paying penalties to gas producers like ENI.

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