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Russian nuclear energy giant competing for Ghana contract – Reuters

Rosatom is one of five companies reportedly chosen as finalists for a project in the African state

Russian state energy giant Rosatom is competing for a contract to build Ghana’s first nuclear power plant, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing Robert Sogbadji, an official in the West African nation’s Energy Ministry.

According to Sogbadji, the Ghanaian government will select a company for the project from a list of five contenders that includes France’s EDF, the US-based NuScale Power and Regnum Technology Group, and the China National Nuclear Corporation.

The other company is South Korea’s Kepco and its subsidiary, Korea Hydro Nuclear Power Corporation.

“Cabinet will approve the final choice. It can be one vendor or two nations; it will depend on the financial model and the technical details,” Reuters quoted Sogbadji, who serves as Ghana’s deputy director for power in charge of nuclear and alternative energy, as saying on Monday.

The selection process, which is expected to be completed by December, is a significant step toward realizing the country’s long-held nuclear ambitions in the midst of a widespread electricity crisis.

For power generation, Ghana relies largely on thermal plants, which account for 66% and 33% of hydropower. According to its energy regulator, the country has 5,454 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity and an available capacity of 4,710.

The former British colony began considering building a nuclear power plant in the 1960s, under the leadership of its first president, Kwame Nkrumah, but the plan was abandoned following a coup. The process was revived in 2006 with the assistance of the International Atomic Energy Agency as the country grappled with devastating power outages.

Ghanaian authorities have hailed nuclear power as a means to resolve supply issues and achieve the country’s industrialization goals.

On Monday, Sogbadji said the world’s second-largest cocoa producer plans to add about 1,000 MW of nuclear power to its electricity mix by 2034.

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Russia and Africa boost nuclear cooperation

Last October, Burkina Faso, one of the neighboring countries to which Ghana exports power, signed a deal with Rosatom to build a nuclear power plant to diversify its energy sources.

In March, the Sahel state and its ally Mali, along with Algeria, signed several agreements for developing cooperation in nuclear energy with the Russian energy firm on the sidelines of the 13th international ATOMEXPO exhibition and forum in Sochi. South Africa is also partnering with Rosatom on a floating nuclear power plant project to help alleviate the country’s protracted electricity crisis, Ryan Collier, acting CEO of Rosatom Central and South Africa, said in March.

According to Collier, African nations have shown a keen interest in nuclear energy from Rosatom, recognizing it as a dependable global supplier and “a reliable partner.”

May 22, 2024 at 07:33PM

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