Ghana’s government this week has greenlighted the world’s largest liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)-fuelled power project.   

The 400 MW Bridge Power project, to be built 26 km east of Accra in the coastal city of Tema, will also be Africa’s first such installation. It is planned to feature five GE TM2500+ G4 gas turbines, four GE LM6000 gas turbines, and two bespoke steam turbines in two separate combined-cycle configurations.

Developer Early Power, a consortium composed of independent power firm Endeavor Energy, Ghanaian energy trading firm Sage and GE Power, said it had signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with a five-year extension option with the Electricity Corporation of Ghana (ECG) after receiving government approval.

The project is to be developed on a fast-track basis in two phases, with the 194 MW first phase planned to be completed within six months of the expected financial close in December.

Early Power said Endeavor will manage the construction work, and will operate and maintain the plant. Sage designed the gas-to-power fuel solution for the project and will be responsible for ongoing fuel supply. The plant will also be capable of running on natural gas and diesel.

Endeavor is to contribute the majority of the equity investment, while GE will provide an ‘on balance sheet’ financing solution for the capital necessary to accelerate the project’s first phase.

Emmanuel Egyei-Mensah, Sage CEO, said: “Being the first LPG-fired plant in Africa, [Bridge Power] is a pioneering example of using clean fuel for power generation in Africa as an alternative to natural gas.”

GE Ghana CEO Leslie Nelson added: “This project represents the first integrated gas-to-power project we will successfully deploy on the continent. Our goal was to successfully create and implement a gas-to-power project that included a full gas solution and financing package and then deploy this model to other countries that are not endowed with cost-efficient fuel sources.”

With annual economic growth of 7 per cent, Ghana is estimated to need at least an additional 2 GW of power capacity over the next five years. The Bridge Power project aims to provide over 12 per cent of the country’s energy mix by 2020.