The State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) of Russia has met with Ghana’s Energy Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh on the margins of the 2023 Africa Energy Week, underway in Cape Town, South Africa.
The meeting held at the behest of ROSATOM was to deepen discussions on co-operation with Ghana on the nuclear energy front. Speaking at the meeting, leader of delegation and Chief Executive Officer of ROSATOM with oversight responsibility over Central and Southern Africa, Mr. Ryan Collyer made reference to an initial Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Ghana and Rosatom in 2015 on nuclear co-operation which includes design and construction of nuclear power plants for the production of electricity and water desalination, nuclear research reactors and atomic particle accelerators, among others.
Mr. Collyer also spoke on Russia’s current proposal to Ghana to construct a Nuclear Power Plant in respect of which last information was sent to the Nuclear Power Ghana on Friday 13th October, 2023. ROSATOM, he said has commenced the construction of a fleet of Floating Nuclear Power Plants as part of their plans to supply power to Ghana’s grid through a Power Purchase Agreement
“We are very committed to this project in Ghana and we want to ensure that this co-operation works. We are also very committed to our Floating Nuclear Power Plant efforts, all in the bid to strengthening the co-operation with Ghana,” the CEO said.
Mr. Collyer further spoke about the advantages of Small Modular Reactor in parallel for industry, drawing similarities to what pertains in Russia. ROSATOM asked the Minister to assist them find a Ghanaian industry partner for a long-term agreement in this direction.
Ghana’s Long-Standing Relations with Russia
For his part, the Energy Minister recounted Ghana’s long-standing relations with Russia, citing the fact that Ghana’s quest for oil discovery was first led by Russians. He said the Government of Ghana continue to support the Ghana Nuclear Power Programme, by participating, funding and making various contribution and supports to the realization of the set goals of the programme
“Ghana has completed the phase 1 stage of the Nuclear Power Programme according to the IAEA milestones approach and has launched into the phase two stage of the nuclear power programme which requires comprehensive feasibility study and implementation works” he said. The Minister added that Ghana’s main preoccupation is funding and therefore making efforts at attracting same.
Opoku Prempeh expressed satisfaction at the Request for further Information by Russia which demonstrates their seriousness to co-operate with Ghana. Ghana, he said, is looking at long term agreements which spans 40-50 years in the nuclear space as nuclear has become a critical part of the clean energy conversation across the globe. He iterated that, Ghana is very much looking for a country who will demonstrate the commitment to funding and investing in nuclear projects as that is also the priority of the President.
In June 2022, President Akufo-Addo made a declaration on the approval by cabinet for the inclusion of Nuclear in the national energy mix.
The Ministry of Energy under the leadership of Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh continues to consolidate efforts in this regard towards the construction of a nuclear power plant also pursuant to the country’s clean energy agenda.