Karadeniz Holding ventures into African energy market

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In its first investment in Africa, Karadeniz Holding, a Turkish power ship maker which builds floating power stations which plug into electricity grids after berthing and can run on fuel oil but can use natural gas as an alternative, has agreed to provide two electricity-generating vessels to Ghana in a 10-year supply deal.

The agreement between Karadeniz holding subsidiary Karpowership Ghana Company Limited (KPS GHANA) and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) includes the direct supply of 450MW of electricity to Ghana’s grid every year. The company is building two more ships which would bring a total capacity of over 1,500MW within a year. However, the deal is more likely to be extended to another 10years where by the company will trade electricity to neighboring countries through Ghana.

The first ship is scheduled to be delivered to Ghana early next year while the second vessel is planned to be shipped within a year after the first, at a cost of US$2m. The company is carrying out finance support talks with both the domestic and foreign banks which aim to finalize the deal in three months.

The company has been providing electricity for Iraq and Lebanon, through part of its fleet of seven power ships with a combined capacity of 1,100MW.

According to the company chairman, Orhan Karadeniz, Africa suffers a power shortage of about 100,000MW and needs to be addressed urgently. The power ships, which are typically converted freighters or other vessels, are aimed at serving mainly developing countries with inadequate onshore infrastructure to cover shortfalls in their electricity supply.

Ghana generates electric power from hydropower, fossil-fuel, thermal energy and renewable energy sources. Electricity generation is one of the key factors in order to achieve the development of the Ghanaian national economy, with aggressive and rapid industrialization; Ghana’s national electric energy consumption was 265 kilowatthours per capita in 2009.