The Government of Ghana has advanced plans to build a 700MW coal fired power plant in the country to be commenced in 2016. In the light of this, leading institutions for the project have released a 120 page Scoping Report of the Environmental & Social Impact Assessment (ESIA). Below we have summarized and simplified the report in 5 points:
- The project is called the 2x350MW Supercritical Coal-Fired Power Plant. It is planned to commence in August 2016, commission commercial operation in 2019/2020 and estimated to cost $US1.5bn. Coal would be imported from South Africa, a quantity of 1,800,000 to 2,050,000 tons per year. Back up coal sources would be considered from Columbia.
- The project has two (2) phases and would see a future expansion to 2000MW coal-fired power plant. Phase 1 is 2x350MW and phase 2 would see the development of either 4x350MW or 2x600MW plant.
- It is been developed by Shenzhen Energy Group Co. Ltd (SEG), based in China with offices in Ghana and the Volta River Authority (VRA).
- The site chosen for the project is Ekumfi Aboano, a fishing community in the Ekumfi District of the Central Region. It is located 78km west of Accra, 50km east of Cape Coast and 0.6km away from an adjacent village. The district has a population of 52,000, out of which 1,900 people live in Aboano. The population of children at the project site is a staggering 55.9%. (Figures by Ghana Statistical Service, 2014)
- An Environmental & Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) is required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the project prior to it’s commencement. However, the 120 page Scoping Report sets out and validate the extent of the ESIA and ascertain the significance of the impact of potential key areas.