Millennium Post

Power packed

Power packed
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call for “Make in India” seems to be drawing not just Indian entrepreneurs but also other nations’ entrepreneurs to bring their brands here for the massive Indian market. Indian expertise in different segments of industry is also being increasingly sought after by countries around the world and one of these countries is the African nation of Ghana, which invited the Indian power sector to look avail an opportunity of setting up 3,665 MW electricity supply plants.
A high-powered delegation led by Kwame Ampofo, Chairman, Energy Commission, Republic of Ghana, was in Mumbai recently to invite Indian companies in power generation, transmission and distribution to <g data-gr-id="97">participate</g> in country’s massive expansion drive towards attaining self-sufficiency in five years. The delegation, which was in India to announce also the global launch of its “<g data-gr-id="105">Powerelec</g> Ghana 2016”, met various leaders in the Indian power industry leaders alongside announcing Ghana’s ambitious programme of adding new power generation capacity of 3,665 MW over the next five years, thereby more than doubling the amount of existing capacity. The event – <g data-gr-id="106">Powerelec</g> Ghana 2016 – is an Indo-Ghanian platform created by <g data-gr-id="107">Fairact</g> Exhibitions and Events LLP, Orange, Ghana and <g data-gr-id="108">Verifair</g>, Dubai and is being hosted at Accra, Ghana in May 2016, he said.

Ghana currently suffers acute power shortage with 74 <g data-gr-id="86">per cent</g> of its population having access to electricity and produces only half of the power it needs from thermal and hydel sources. Besides power, Ghana offers <g data-gr-id="104">good</g> opportunity for investments in agriculture and agro-processing. The financial services and telecommunication sectors are fast gaining ground. Furthermore, the opportunities exist in the manufacturing, ICT, and tourism. Ghana has sizeable mineral deposits including gold and diamonds. The country is also emerging as a leading producing of oil in the region.  
Highlighting Indian expertise in this regard, Ampofo said: “We look forward to Indian players to assist Ghana in attaining self-sufficiency in power. Their experience within India will help them execute projects at Ghana in a rapid and efficient manner. Besides traditional sources such as hydel and thermal, we are also very keen to tap alternate sources of power including solar and wind energy. Ghana’s recent reforms in industrial policy and foreign participation have made it an ideal place to do business.” 

Pointing out that Ghana has been recognised by the World Bank’s Doing Business Report of 2014 as the “Best Place for Doing Business in the ECOWAS Region,” he said: “Ghana is among the fastest-growing economies of Africa with 7.4 per cent growth last year and industrial plant, machinery or equipment and the parts thereof are exempted from customs import duty, besides the country’s investment laws guaranteeing 100 <g data-gr-id="87">per cent</g> transfer profits, dividends, etc. Kwame lauded two significant projects undertaken by India in Ghana – which included the Kofi Annan IT Centre, and the Flagstaff House that served as the Presidency and Seat of Government there. He said: “With 25.3 million population and West Africa’s second largest economy and market alongside being among the top five destinations for doing business in Sub-Saharan Africa, Ghana depended on power generation from Hydro (56 per cent) and Thermal (44 per cent) with electricity demand growing to between 10 per cent to 14 per cent yearly. While inviting IPPs into the power industry, Ghana is aiming to increase its electricity generation capacity  from the current 2,800 MW to 5,000 MW by 2016; become a net exporter of power in shortest possible time; achieve universal access to electricity and increased share of renewable energy resources by 2020, and 80 per cent gas-based thermal generation by 2015 end.”

Focusing on opportunities in the Power sector, he added: “The West African Power Pool (WAPP) inter-connected various individual national electricity grids of all 15 African countries that make up the economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) into one huge transmission infrastructure for trading and marketing of electrical energy in the West African region. Ghana has positioned itself to become the hub of power production and a net exporter of electricity throughout the WAPP”. 
Ghana is aiming at making thermal power generation the dominant source of power – replacing hydro systems as the base load – and the discovery and production of natural gas in <g data-gr-id="93">its</g> coastal and other oil and gas fields has <g data-gr-id="92">encourage</g> it to move more rapidly in this direction. “Sometimes we have drought and cannot depend on <g data-gr-id="78">hydro power</g>,” he <g data-gr-id="90">said,</g> while stating that the government has also decided to diversify into coal-based electricity production.

Ghana has FDI of $3 billion average per annum and also infrastructure funding gap of $1 billion with China being its biggest investor at $56 billion in 2012 and giving $6 billion concessionary loans to – alongside increasing its exports also by 72 <g data-gr-id="76">per cent</g> in 2012 – to Ghana. India’s bilateral trade with Ghana stood at $1.2 billion in 2013-2014 with Ghana exporting gold, cocoa and timber products while India exported pharmaceutical, telecom, agricultural machines, electrical equipment, plastic, steel and cement. 

Reiterating Ghana’s Vice-President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur’s invitation to the Indian private sector during his visit to India, he said: “We know that Indian companies have the technology in this regard. Some companies have contacted us at the Energy Commission to start exploratory work coal-based power production in Ghana,” adding, “Currently, the government of Ghana is viewing sustainable development and climate change very seriously, and is encouraging investors to focus on local manufacture of components that will facilitate rapid growth of renewable energy technologies in Ghana.”

Ghana is viewing $4 billion investment in the next 10 years in the power generation, transmission and distribution sector, 12 per cent per annum increase in power demand and a 60 <g data-gr-id="84">per cent</g> predicted increase in urban population by 2020. “Around 10,000 MW power would be required across six African countries – Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania,” he said, adding that Nigeria needs 4,000 MW power in the near future against current capacity of 7,500 MW and need of $10 billion in the Capital; Liberia needs $ 1 billion for grid construction including 9,000 <g data-gr-id="85">kms</g> of MV distribution line with local LV distribution systems; and Cameroon having the second largest hydropower potential in Africa.

Replying to Millennium Post, Ampofo said: “We in Ghana are preparing for futuristic lifestyle where energy consumption will come from renewable resources. India has the technology for renewable energy that is useful to Ghana, and it must not wait for China to overtake it in this regard. India-Ghana bilateral trade is around $12 billion and is growing, though not on the same level as with China-Ghana trade which is much more.”

To a query about how Ghana will acquire coal for its coal-fired plants, he said: “We have to import coal from Brazil and South Africa as the economics work out better compared to crude oil also, there is a lot of coal around the world and its quite cheap, besides the fact that even Israel and other countries are using coal-fired power plants. The price of power is also important for our country’s economy and Hydro is the cheapest, followed by coal and natural gas. We are currently building harbours for importing and handling of coal however, the quantity of coal imports still need to be worked out.”

Maharashtra Minister for Energy and New and renewable Energy  Chandrashekhar Bawankule, in a message, noted that such events highlighted Modi’s vision of mutual assistance in creating economic development and prosperity for such countries. Pointing out that the competitive effort to attain self-sufficiency in power supply was not alien to India which has been striving to erect and commission huge power-generating capacities, he said India’s experience in this regard would help Ghana much in becoming self-sufficient efficiently, especially in traditional sources like hydro and thermal, besides solar, wind energy and biogas in which Maharashtra is among the leading regions in this regard.

Highlighting Powerelec Ghana 2016, Sunil More of FairAct said: “This event had the potential to act as a platform for all future exchange of opportunities between India and Ghana. There is a tremendous interest in the Power sector for doing business with Ghana. Over 100 companies have already confirmed to be a part of this event”.

Meanwhile, The Australian Mandarins have come to India. India is being targeted by Australia for exports of its mandarins in the fruit range. For the first time, IG International Pvt <g data-gr-id="140">ltd</g>, (IGIPL) of India are importing the Fremont Mandarins from Ironbark Citrus, a renowned grower of mandarins – which resemble oranges in a smaller size – in Queensland and Australia’s premier boutique mandarin-grower that is supplying premium mandarins to the world, while processing its fruit in its own on-site facilities to ensure maximum shelf-life. Describing the Indian fresh fruit market as one of the world’s fastest-growing markets, Susan Jenkins, CEO, Ironbark Citrus, expressed confidence about India becoming an important market for this fruit. Ironbark Citrus’ <g data-gr-id="157">112 hectare</g> citrus orchard and <g data-gr-id="158">12 hectare</g> table grape vineyard currently met the export needs worldwide, alongside its commitment to <g data-gr-id="153">ecologically-sustainable</g> agriculture and producing a “clean and green” product.  She told Millennium Post that the company’s worldwide fruit exports amounted to Australian $6 million per year about 50 <g data-gr-id="148">per cent</g> of its mandarin sales was to the Asian market, besides 20 <g data-gr-id="149">per cent</g> to the Middle East market which was expected to expand in demand for this fruit.
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