Karpowership is the owner, operator and builder of the first and only Powership fleet in the world. It is a member of the Kardeniz Energy Group, a pioneer in innovative energy projects for the last 20 years. Operating on both Heavy Fuel Oil and Natural Gas, the Powership is a barge or ship mounted floating power plant delivering a fast-track, reliable, and cost-effective power supply solution to the energy challenges facing countries around the world.
Opportunity for Creating Shared Value
Tema, located 25 kilometres from Ghana’s capital city of Accra, is one of the country’s largest fishing villages and fishing is the sole source of income for most families. However, massive electrical power outages in the years 2006 and 2007 almost immobilized the industry. Without a consistent refrigeration system, buyers in Tema were hesitant to purchase fish in bulk, seriously affecting the fishermen’s income and the livelihoods of the people of Tema.
Persistent, irregular and unpredictable electrical power outages across the country meant that at the height of the power crisis people would have to endure blackouts for up to 24 hours. This is estimated to have reduced GDP growth by one percent over that period (Energizing Economic Growth: Making the Power and Petroleum Sectors Rise to the Challenge.” (2013) World Bank, pg13).
In 2015, a partnership between the government of Ghana and Karpowership resulted in the signing of a 450MW Power Purchasing Agreement, where Karpowership would supply electricity to Ghana for 20 years. The 142-metre long Powership was delivered as a ready powerplant capable of delivering power within days of its arrival on the coast of Tema. The Grid Company of Ghana and Karpower teamed up to construct an eight kilometre transmission line from the port to the nearest substation to deliver base load electricity from its 12 power-producing engines 24 hours a day.
Karpowership is a clear example of a purposeful business where the capacity to supply affordable energy at a low cost to the environment has yielded profits for the company. The Powership is currently providing 23% of Ghana’s total electricity generation. Since 2010, 15 Powerships have been completed, with total installed capacity exceeding 3000 MW. 5000 MW of Powerships are in the pipeline and under construction.
Karpowership is demonstrating leadership in the sector, addressing social issues with innovative business solutions and showing what is possible when corporations apply their experience and technology to the delivery of large-scale social outcomes.
Karpowership is an economical solution for the government of Ghana to their struggling existing electricity supply, which relies on expensive crude oil. The Powership has reduced the average cost of electricity production and utilization, thereby ensuring that all stakeholders benefit. Ghana’s population, and in particular the fishing community of Tema, no longer experience regular power outages. Not only has a reliable source of power meant an improvement in fishing as well as other industries, but the Powership has also provided jobs to locals in Tema.
Lessons Learned, Challenges and Future Growth
Karpower continues to produce power for Ghana, but the increasing cost of crude oil has compelled the facility to turn to natural gas. The company is expected to relocate its 470MW Powership to the Sekondi Naval Base in order to utilize Ghana’s natural gas resources. This is in line with the government’s plans to ensure full utilization of gas resources from the Western enclave of the country. It is also to ensure constant gas supply to the facility to enable it produce uninterrupted power.