On Sunday, the Aysegul Sultan, a Turkish powership, capable of generating 235MW of electricity a day, sailed into Tema, Ghana’s main port.
It received a rousing welcome because it was at least a partial answer to Ghana’s prayers for relief from the country’s crippling, 500MW power shortfall.
The Electricity Company of Ghana‚ a part of the country’s Ministry of Energy‚ has executed a 10-year power purchase agreement with Karpowership Ghana Company‚ a subsidiary of Karadeniz Holding for the delivery of two powerships that will add a total of 450MW of power to Ghana’s grid.
Turkish conglomerate Karadeniz Holdings, the only company in the world that specializes in sea-borne, ship-mounted generating stations, owns the Aysegul Sultan, which is just one of its fleet of nine such ships built under its ‘Power of Friendship’ project. These ships are said to be already operational in Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan and Dubai.
Another powership, the 125MW Zeynep Sultan (pictured below), will be despatched by Karadeniz to Indonesia.
The powerships are capable of operating on both heavy fuel oil and natural gas, making the cost of their power substantially less than alternatives such as Open Cycle Gas Turbines. Here’s a Karadeniz video on how these behemoths work.
South Africa, another African country battling energy shortages, may soon resort to this option according to Karadeniz, and as reported by TimesLive.
Claims Karadeniz: “South Africa currently uses Open-Cycle Gas Turbines (OCGTs) through the majority of the day to meet some of the excess peak demand. OCGTs run on diesel and are an expensive energy option. Karpowership can replace OCGTs and generate electricity at approximately R1.80 per Kwh all in‚ which is 22% cheaper than OCGTs. This would amount to a saving of R26 billion per year for South Africa.”
Power shortages are now appearing in developed countries too.
According to the FT, even the UK has had to turn to diesel generators in a desperate bid to alleviate the power shortage looming over the next 15 years:
“Analysis of publicly available figures shows that companies have registered to build a total of about 1.5 gigawatts of diesel power under a government scheme to encourage back-up energy for the grid…If all of those registered are successful in their bids — which analysts believe is likely — it could cost the taxpayer £436m, provide enough energy to power more than 1m homes and emit several million tonnes of carbon a year.”
Image 1 - Karadeniz
Image 2 - gmspano
Image 3 – hurriyetdailynews/DHA