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Kpong Hydro Station To Be Shut Down   
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Kpong Hydro Generating Station will be shut down for the first time for retrofitting works to begin.

The exercise, which would be carried out on all the f our generating units, is to improve efficiency and guarantee reliable supply of electricity for the next 30 years.

The retrofitting, which would begin in July 2014, would cost an amount of £36 million, $2 million and GH¢4 million.

The Volta River Authority (VRA) in July 3, 2013, signed a contract agreement with Andritz Hydro of Austria to commence the Kpong Generating Station Retrofit Project.

Johnson Hlordjie, Plant Manager of Kpong Hydroelectric Station, in an interview with journalists, said even though the contract had been signed for the retrofit project to begin, Andritz Hydro needs at least a year to manufacture the components that would be used to replace the old ones, hence the project would start July, next year.

“The exercise will not result in load shedding. This is because the whole generating station will not be shutdown,” explaining that “one out of the four units of the hydroelectric station will be shut down at a time for retrofitting in order to allow the rest to continue to supply electricity with no interruption.”

Mr. Hlordjie said it would take a period of eight months to complete work on each unit, adding that it would take a maximum of four years to complete the retrofit project.

Hlodjie stated that “after 30 years, if the retrofit task is not done, we will begin to have equipment failures which could result in shut downs and load-shedding and this is what we want to avoid.

The Kpong Hydroelectric Plant, which was completed in 1982, constitute 12 percent of the country’s energy production.

The total installed capacity at Kpong is about 160 MW. However, if all four units at Kpong are running, there is a rise in tail water elevation, which limits the output of the generation to about 148 MW.

The combined Akosombo/Kpong system has an installed capacity of 1,180 MW.

The Kpong Head Pond has minimal storage capacity and is operated in tandem with Akosombo as a run-of-the-river plant to optimize water use from the Volta Lake. The joint firm energy output from the Akosombo/Kpong Hydroelectric Development is about 4,800 GWh.

Meanwhile, the long-term average (LTA) capability of the two plants is about 6,100 GWh.
Source: Cephas Larbi/Daily Guide

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