FIVE years after the sod had been cut for work to begin on a $136 million power plant to generate electricity from garbage in Kumasi, there is nothing to show for the project.
The project, which was the initiative of the Ministry of Local Government and the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), was the first attempt to undertake a waste-to-energy project in any local authority in the country.
The project, which was to be undertaken by Cinergex Solutions, a Canadian firm, under the build, operate and transfer (BOT) system, was programmed to take 14 months to complete.
After five years, however, the KMA has nothing to show in respect of the project.
Confirming this, the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) for Kumasi, Mr Samuel Sarpong, said, “I have not seen anything about the project since I assumed office about five months ago.”
“Indeed, all that has been said about the project is mere paper work. Not a single thing has been done with respect to the project,” he added.
In June 2004, then President J.A. Kufuor performed the sod-cutting ceremony. That was after the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the KMA had signed the contract for the construction of the plant
with the contractors, Cinergex Solutions of Canada, in November 2003.
Cinergex Solutions was said to be the major financiers of the plant, which was to generate between 30 and 52 megawatts of electricity from garbage at the KMA’s landfill site at Dompoase.
The company was said to have come on board on a BOT basis. Electricity to be generated from the plant was to serve the Kumasi metropolis and its environs. Cinergex, consequently, signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) under which electricity produced by the waste-to-energy plant would supplement the ECG’s power supply from the Volta River Authority (VRA) to the Kumasi metropolis.
The sod-cutting ceremony was performed at a time when Ghana was experiencing a serious energy crisis and many saw the project as one of the best things to happen to the metropolis.
The Kumasi metropolis generates about 1,000 tonnes of waste per day, which was seen as good enough to feed the plant if it came on board.
At the sod-cutting ceremony, former President Kufuor had said the government, through the Ministry of Local Government, would encourage other metropolitan and municipal assemblies which had the capacity and capability to explore the possibility of turning their waste into energy.