GE and Marinus Energy to build first-of-its-kind waste gas to power plant in Ghana

  • Written by  Bob Koigi

As developing countries embrace innovation that will guarantee faster solutions to energy challenges, GE Power and Marinus Energy have announced a pilot project to capture Isopentane gas and use it as a fuel source for generating electricity.

The Atuabo Waste to Power Independent Power Project will be the first TM2500 power plant in Sub-Saharan Africa to use Isopentane gas as a fuel source and will run on GE’s latest TM2500 gas turbines. This Isopentane gas would otherwise have been flared.

“Not only is the Atuabo waste to power plant enabling our company to lead in innovative energy solutions in Ghana, but by using a fuel source which would otherwise have been flared as waste, we are further reducing emissions and costs,” said Mr. Fred Asamany, Strategic Advisor of Marinus Energy.

“This is good for our business, the climate and eliminates the potential environmental hazards facing the local community. GE is offering an innovative solution which gives us the confidence to move from pilot to commercial operations” he said.

In the first phase, Atuabo will convert the Isopentane fuel into up to 25 megawatts (MW) of power, generating enough electricity to supply power for more than 100,000 Ghanaian households.

As additional gas is brought onshore, the plant is expected to add on additional gas generating units up to a capacity of 100 MW. Additional Isopentane fuel will eventually be stripped off an offshore gas supply and processed at Atuabo by the Ghana National Gas Company.

The gas turbine will start on lean gas and transfer to the Isopentane mix over time, and the power plant is intended to operate at base load throughout its life.

“The TM2500 unit will provide unrivalled speed to deployment and flexibility to support the immediate needs of our customer - Marinus Energy, and then seamlessly transition to deliver capacity over the long term as they expand their operations” said Leslie Nelson, CEO of GE’s Gas Power Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“The Atuabo project will add yet another TM2500 gas turbine to the existing fleet of ten units in the country earlier deployed in 2016” he said.

With more than 200 units deployed and over 5 million operating hours of experience, GE’s TM2500 has proven flexibility can help bridge the power gap for short- and long-term energy planning, stabilize the grid, or reach and power remote locations.

The TM2500 mobile power plant - a trailer-mounted gas turbine generator and containerized balance of plant - can be relocated to other power plants during operation, and maintenance outages, or to remote areas.

The TM2500 can also achieve full power approximately within 10 minutes making it ideal for providing a base-load bridge to permanent power installations or generating backup power for factories and industries.

In 2017, GE released several announcements reinforcing its commitments to strengthening the power sector in Ghana.

The 400MW Bridge power project will be the first LPG fired power plant in Africa and the largest LPG fired power plant in the world, while the 200MW Amandi power plant will be one of the most efficient power plants in the country and will generate the equivalent power needed to supply more than one million Ghanaian homes.

In addition, GE will set up a monitoring and diagnostics center in Ivory Coast which will provide the digital data and analytics service to improve the performance of GE equipment in the region.

GE works with the government, corporate customers and other stakeholders in Ghana to support economic growth through infrastructure development in the power, healthcare and transport sectors. In 2014, GE opened a 200-capacity permanent office in Accra, and now has over 100 employees - 95% of which are Ghanaians.

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