HYDROPOWER PLANNING OF THE WESTERN RIVERS

COUNTRY: Ghana REGION: Western Region CAPACITY: 500MW 
YEAR: CLIENT: Ministry of Mines and Energy ENERGY:

BACKGROUND


With the aim of introducing Independent Power Generation in Ghana, the Government of Ghana
commissioned SECSD  to carry out a  hydropower potential study of the Western Region   to identify a series of schemes suitable for development by IPP's.

The Western region has plenty of  natural and water resources which if harnessed can cater to the region's demand and provide energy to the grid and thus enable the waters from Lake Volta to be used for irrigation thereby providing immense financial benefits.  Among the important towns in the region are Prestea (Gold mines) and Tarkwa (Manganese) mines. Samreboe on the banks of Tano is noted for wood harvesting where there is a wood fired thermal power station.

SECSD undertook planning, site identification, conceptual layout and design, prepared pre feasibility reports and concession promotion packages for inclusion in a RFP package for the three rivers Pra, Tano and Ankobra.  A total of seventeen schemes ranging in size from 5MW to 50MW were identified. The smaller schemes would be suitable for implementation for rural electrification. (Click on shaded areas in the map to see details for each river basin).

WOOD FIRED POWER STATION

SWIFT STREAMS

MAP OF GHANA WITH GRID

Though a number of leading international consultants  had submitted numerous feasibility reports since 1960, the projects as envisaged  did not meet the present day strict environmental impact standards. Vast amounts of rain forest and cocoa plantations were to be submerged as per the proposals and the primary aim was to make the entire length of the rivers navigable so as to aid in transport of logs downstream to the sea. The environmental impact cost was about 40% of the total projects costs. 

PRA AT TWIFO PRASO

SECSD reviewed the planning  and instead proposed that the rivers be developed with medium hydropower stations so as to avoid any environmental impacts  The sites were selected after careful analysis of the topography so that submergence was reduced to minimum. The planning was supported by extensive field visits and surveys.

Several small scale projects useful for development of isolated grids to serve rural areas were also identified in upper reaches of the rivers.

TANO AT ABENIA

The advantage of these schemes is that the energy generated by these projects  would conserve  the water in Lake Volta which could be diverted to  irrigate 1 million acres of fallow land which could produce 2 million tonnes of food grains per annum. The new stations being located close to the mining demand will reduce the transmission losses in over 300km of line from Akosombo to Western Region.

These proposals were independently approved by Electrowatt Consulting Engineers, Zurich for the Ministry of Energy and Mines and based on these proposals the Ministry selected CMS Generation for promoting due diligence study of the Pra river.

ANKOBRA AT PRESTEA

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