Ghana selects contractors for first nuclear power plant 

Ghana is set to boost the electricity supply in its country by building its first nuclear power plant.

The West African nation will select a contractor from a host of foreign countries vying to build this nuclear power plant in the country.  

According to the East African, Ghana’s Energy Minister and Deputy Power Director, Robert Sogbadji, listed the foreign companies vying for the prospective nuclear power plant project.  

They include France’s EDF, US-based NuScale Power and Regnum Technology Group, and China National Nuclear Corporation. Other companies vying for the project are South Korea’s Kepco and its subsidiary Korea Hydro Nuclear Power Corporation and Russia’s Rosatom.  

“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,” Robert Sogbadji the deputy director of power said.  

Sogbadji said over 16 companies initially indicated interest when the Ghanian government called for contractors for the project but a technical team of state agencies and the energy ministry narrowed down the selection to just five countries.  

Ghana would be joining the host of other African countries that are turning to nuclear energy to close supply gaps in electricity in a continent where over 600 million people lack access to power.  

Burkina Faso and Uganda have both signed agreements with Russia and China to construct their first nuclear power plants. Morocco and Namibia are also working towards adding nuclear to their mix of energy sources.  

South Africa is the only African country with a nuclear power plant and is currently looking to add 2,500 megawatts from its nuclear power plant to combat severe power cuts that the country is currently grappling with.  

Robert Sogbadji said Ghana is aiming to add about 1000 megawatts of electricity from Nuclear to its energy mix by 2034.  

Ghana expects nuclear-powered electricity to become its base for quicker and more efficient industrialization while increasing energy exports to neighbouring Benin, Ivory Coast, and Togo.  

Nigeria has no nuclear power plant at the moment although a nuclear power plant known as the Geregu Nuclear power plant is still in the works.  

Nigeria has also researched nuclear energy and established a nuclear regulatory authority, the Nuclear Regulatory Authority of Nigeria (NNRA).  

Nigeria also built a relationship with Russia and the Russian State Nuclear Corporation Rosatom to help embrace nuclear energy.  

What to Know  

  • Ghana started considering building a nuclear power plant in the 1960s but the process was derailed by a coup. It revived the plan in 2006 with the International Atomic Energy Association’s assistance, following a devastating power crisis that year. 
  • Ghana is currently struggling with power cuts and has 5,454 MW of installed capacity, of which 4,483 MW is available, according to its energy regulator.
  • Robert Sogbadji said the country has already secured a proposed site with the capacity to contain 5 nuclear reactors and would prefer an arrangement that makes room for local equity holding.  

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