Accra, Nov.13, GNA - Ghana is ready to invite bids for the negotiation of contract to establish the first nuclear power plant, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The country’s current position falls within Milestone Two, the penultimate milestone to commissioning and operating a nuclear plant, placing her behind only Egypt and South Africa, and ahead of Nigeria in the latest Africa Nuclear Development Race rankings.
The Ghana Nuclear Power Programme, formed in 2012, seeks to ensure the smooth implementation of the Ghana Nuclear Power Road Map towards the commissioning of the first Nuclear Power Plant in Ghana by 2030, to support baseload power demand and provide cheap power for industrialisation.
The decision to revive interest in nuclear energy and its associated technologies was on the back of a report of a Presidential Committee in 2007, which recommended the incorporation of nuclear power into the energy mix for Ghana.
Ghana Nuclear Power Planning Organisation was subsequently established to steer the implementation of a nuclear energy programme to address all the issues.
At the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of Energy, in a panel discussion, said Ghana’s energy mix had significant contributions from renewable energy sources, particularly hydro, which formed the base load energy in the country.
A release from the Ministry quoted him to have said that due to the growth in demand and the incidence of climate change, the large hydro dams had become unreliable and could not meet baseload demand in the near future.
Nuclear energy, was therefore, the only clean baseload power that would meet the energy source criteria for the country, given that Ghana was mindful of her commitment to the Paris Agreement not to contribute to the increase in carbon footprint and her determination to provide baseload power.
Dr Prempeh said a nuclear power plant built in any part of the continent should be considered as a replacement for a possible fossil fuel power plant, as that was a step towards global decarbonisation.
He called for a comprehensive programme with funding to be initiated for nascent countries to enable them to build capacity to address all the 19 infrastructure issues required by the IAEA.