Ghana’s cocoa to help pay China for building 400-MW Bui

The head of Ghana’s cocoa market regulator, Cocobod, says the agency will deliver cocoa to China as part of a deal to repay China for financing the 400-MW Bui hydroelectric project, now under construction on Ghana’s Black Volta River.

“Ghana already has an agreement in relation to the Bui Dam to ensure we support our government with 38,000 tons,” Cocobod Chief Executive Isaac Osei said told reporters September 3. “Cocobod is also looking to increase its influence in the China market.�

SinoHydro Corp. of China is building Bui under a US$594 million engineering-procurement-construction contract. (HNN 8/28/07) Work is to be completed in 2012. Beijing is funding the majority of the cost through preferential credit facilities.

Ghana President John Agyekum Kufuor formally began construction of the project in a groundbreaking ceremony August 24. He formally thanked China, which is providing US$562 million toward the project. The government of Ghana is providing US$60 million.

Beijing has been supporting infrastructure projects throughout Africa, which is becoming an important source of oil, metals and other commodities to fuel China’s fast-growing economy.

The Bui project includes a power station, transmission line, an irrigation project, and environmental mitigation. It is to feature a roller-compacted-concrete dam and three generating units totaling 400 MW. It is part of an investment program to end power cuts that have hampered growth.

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