Officials of the Ghana government and the Export-Import Bank of China have signed a financing agreement providing an initial US$292 million for construction of the 400-MW Bui hydroelectric project on Ghana’s Black Volta River.
Ghana Minister of State Anthony Akoto Osei and Exim Bank President Li Ruogi signed the agreement September 25 in a ceremony witnessed by Ghana Vice President Aliu Mahama and other officials.
The vice president said the total US$562 million to be extended to Ghana for Bui is one of the biggest credit facilities ever obtained from a single source in the history of Ghana.
Osei expressed gratitude to the Chinese officials and appealed to China’s Ministry of Commerce to hasten final approval of the remaining US$270 million concessionary loan for the project. The government of Ghana is providing US$60 million.
Ghana Energy Minister Kofi Adda said the signing signified that everything is in place for full construction to begin.
Ghana President John Agyekum Kufuor formally began construction of the project in a groundbreaking ceremony August 24. (HNN 8/28/07) SinoHydro Corp. of China is building the project under a US$594 million engineering-procurement-construction contract. Work is to be completed in 2012.
The total US$622 million project includes a power station, transmission line, an irrigation project, fisheries, tourism, and environmental mitigation components. Bui includes a roller-compacted-concrete dam and three generating units totaling 400 MW.
The head of Ghana’s cocoa market regulator, Cocobod, recently said the agency will deliver cocoa to China as part of a deal to repay China for financing Bui. (HNN 9/7/07)