The Executive Director of Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG) says his outfit is confident industries in the country would take bold investment-driven steps to partner with the efforts of the government as the country embark on the phase II activities of the nuclear power programme to prepare to commence construction in phase III.
According to him, the NPG is currently drafting a report on the preferred site for the West African nation’s first nuclear power plant for regulatory review and approval.
It is not yet known which nuclear technology Ghana will opt for, modular or large reactor, but this portal is aware that NPG has submitted a report to the Ministry of Energy to be forwarded to cabinet on which technology the country should adopt.
Recently, Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo made a bold statement by officially approving Ghana’s quest to include nuclear power in the energy mix.
Speaking at the Ghana Industrial Summit hosted by the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) in Accra recently, Dr. Stephen Yamoah highlighted the benefits of nuclear power.
He expressed the view that modern affordable and sustainable energy services are a powerful engine of economic and social development, and no country has managed to develop much beyond a subsistence economy without ensuring, at least, minimum access to energy services for a broad section of its population.
“Nuclear energy is a mature and proven low-carbon source of electricity, with over 60-year track record of providing reliable and safe operation,” he said.
He continued, “Nuclear creates an opportunity for us to create jobs that would be decent and sustainable. Nuclear provides an opportunity for careers, not just jobs. A successful Nuclear Power Programme/Project in Ghana would develop skills, create sustainable jobs and create wealth.”
According to the NPG boss, advanced innovation and technological advancement have made nuclear power plants safer than in the past.
Dr. Yamoah reiterated the need for Ghana’s industry to take deliberate steps to position themselves for opportunities in the nuclear project saying: “Are we in the right position, are we ready, or can we be ready, or position ourselves as an industry, to take on the opportunities that the Nuclear industry brings to strengthen our growth and the economy?”
He further noted that it was essential for the industry to position itself and prepare for nuclear localisation.
He suggested that it could be done with or without local companies forming international strategic partnerships and apply it to fields such as Engineering and Procurement, Manufacturing, Construction and Construction management.
Dr. Yamoah pointed out that the nuclear Power Project demanded very high standards, which is the challenge that must be overcome.
“Unfortunately, with Nuclear, there’s no other way around it. The necessary skills and certifications must be acquired and would be essential if industry aims at being part of the success story,” he advised.
Rationalising his argument about the nuclear localisation programme, he noted that, that was a very important issue which did not only give Ghanaian companies financial benefits if they prepared themselves to take advantage of the supply chain but it also required a master plan.
Dr. Yamoah, therefore, tasked industrial players to engage and align asserting the conviction that they at NPG were of the view that Ghana’s industry had limited capacity and capability so, there was the need to work hard together and promptly argue that it was the way to go as there is no option to win this energy Industrialisation war.
Dr. Yamoah further suggested that Ghana needed a nuclear industry readiness programme in advance before the first Nuclear Power Plant is expected on the grid.
According to him, players in the industry needed to be fully aligned and orientated before they put in tenders for any nuclear work.
“We are of the firm belief that our partnership with AGI would be sustained and would lead to both horizontal and vertical alignment for sustainable growth,” he emphasised.
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