Early Power Limited proceeds on Bridge Power Plant in Ghana

Early Power Limited (EPL) has issued full construction Notice to Proceed on Stage 1 of the 400MW Bridge Power Project (the Bridge Project). Stage 1 of this greenfield multi-fuel combined cycle power plant located in Tema, Ghana, is comprised of 202MW. It will begin delivering electricity to the Ghanaian power grid in the fourth quarter of 2019.

On completion, the Bridge Project will be one of the largest liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) fueled power projects in the world and will meet the most stringent local and international (World Bank/IFC) environmental requirements.

The Bridge Project will initially run on LPG, helping to diversify Ghana’s fuel mix, but will switch to run on natural gas as its primary fuel when natural gas becomes available in Tema.  Once LPG becomes the Bridge Project’s ‘back-up’ fuel, its LPG infrastructure will be used to provide environmentally friendly LPG for domestic Ghana use.

The Bridge Project is sponsored by a consortium that includes Endeavor Energy (Endeavor), Sage Trading Group (Sage), a leading Ghanaian fuels company, and General Electric (GE). GuarantCo has provided an EPC contractor payment guarantee for Stage 1 of the Bridge Power plant and METKA is the construction contractor.

Endeavor, the lead developer and majority owner of the Bridge Project, is considered one of the best performing Africa-focused independent power companies with extensive activities and projects across the continent. It is backed by global energy-focused private equity firm Denham Capital. Endeavor will also lead the Operations and Maintenance of the power plant and will provide the Construction and Commercial Management of the Project. Sage played a key role in the Project’s development and will be its fuel supplier and owner/operator of the Project’s LPG fuel infrastructure.  GE is a world energy leader providing equipment, solutions and services across the energy value chain from generation to consumption.

Sean T. Long, Founder, President and CEO of Endeavor, said: “I would like to extend a warm thanks on behalf of Early Power Limited to the Government of Ghana and to all of our project partners for their continuous support and dedication in bringing this project to fruition.”

“The Bridge Project is fully aligned with Ghana’s national economic and social development goals and represents the second concluded investment in Ghana’s power sector by Endeavor. With the Bridge Project and Endeavor’s majority interest in the $557 million Amandi Power Project located near Takoradi, Endeavor is leading the effort to bring over $1.5 billion of foreign direct investment in Ghana’s power sector, helping to create jobs and deliver additional low-cost power solutions for Ghana.”

Justin DeAngelis, Partner at Denham Capital, said: “We are proud to have worked with the government of Ghana to deliver a solution that allows for long-term sustainable power.  Like other Denham power projects across Africa and globally, the Bridge Project will have a significant developmental impact, providing low-cost, reliable power, local jobs and indirect economic and social benefits, while also supporting the country’s energy transition.”

Emmanuel Egyei-Mensah, Chief Executive Officer of Sage, said: “Ghana has made great strides over recent years to strengthen its power sector whilst at the same time creating an open and successful environment for international investment.  This project, which includes the construction of LPG import and storage infrastructure, will expand Ghana’s existing LPG capabilities, enabling the country to import three times more LPG each year. This will lead to significant improvements in domestic LPG supply availability and market penetration, which will, in turn, bolster the drive to make Ghana’s energy sources more diversified and secure.”

The Bridge Project is specifically designed to provide fuel diversity, optionality and security for Ghana, while continuing the country’s additions of reliable, baseload generation capacity. GE will supply the power generation equipment for the project which will include GE’s TM2500 gas turbine generator sets and GE’s steam turbines in a combined cycle (CC) configuration. This will be the first time the TM2500 gas turbines will be used in a combined cycle configuration globally and marks a milestone for the technology.

The first stage of the plant’s construction is expected to take a total of 24 months, although power will initially come online in 10 months and the combined cycle portion of Stage 1 will be completed in 4Q of 2020.  Not only does the Project represent a significant capital investment in Ghana, it will create hundreds of jobs (majority Ghanaian) during construction, while a further 125 people will be employed as part of ongoing operations of the life of the plant. In addition, approximately 250 indirect (mainly local) jobs supporting the project will be created.

Panagiotis Gardelinos, General Manager of METKA, the EPC Business Unit of MYTILINEOS, the construction contractor for the Project said: We are delighted to have worked with Endeavor to realise the first stage of the 400MW multi-fuel combined cycle Bridge Power project in Ghana and to implement an innovative structure of supplier credits to enable full construction of the Project while the sponsors finalize arrangements for permanent financing. This is the third project in Ghana for METKA, the EPC Business Unit of MYTILINEOS and demonstrates our continued commitment to deliver to all citizens a future with energy autonomy, always based on the latest technological developments and international best practice. We are proud that we are able to provide sustainable energy solutions worldwide and especially in Sub-Saharan Africa where the needs are so great.”

Lasitha Perera, CEO of GuarantCo, said: “We are proud to have developed this innovative contractor payment guarantee for Bridge Power and to make a vital contribution to Ghana’s energy needs. Given the extremely short timelines required under the Power Purchase Agreement, our guarantee helped a private sector investor to bridge the financing gap and deliver power to Ghana under a shorter timeframe than historically achieved.”

The Bridge Project is another achievement for the U.S. Power Africa program and its U.S. partners Endeavor and Denham Capital. Andrew M. Herscowitz, Coordinator for Power Africa, the U.S. government-led initiative to double access to electricity by 2030, said: “Power Africa is proud to have provided assistance to our partners Endeavor Energy and Denham Capital through the U.S. Agency of International Development and the Departments of Commerce and State, and today we congratulate them and the people of Ghana for reaching start of construction on the Bridge Project.”

EPL’s international legal adviser was Clifford Chance, while Senet Corporate Solicitors served as Ghanaian legal advisor to EPL and its sponsors. Norton Rose and DLA Piper acted as international legal advisers to GuarantCo and METKA, respectively, and ENSafrica served as Ghanaian legal advisor. Lima Partners acted as the Project’s Ghanaian tax advisor.  Trinity LLP served as counsel to Endeavor. WSP and Aurecon South Africa acted as owners’ engineers. Jacobs Consultancy Limited acted as the owners’ environmental and social consultant, while Marsh served as the insurance broker and consultant. Standard Chartered Bank is acting as the Intercreditor Agent, Security Trustee and Account Bank for the vendor financing, and is also the Mandated Lead Arranger for the long-term financing which is anticipated to close in Q1 2019.

Source: Endeavor Energy

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