Ghana and Russia Boost Nuclear Energy Cooperation

by Victor Adetimilehin

Ghana is moving closer to its goal of adding nuclear energy to its power mix, as it deepens its cooperation with Russia’s state atomic energy corporation, ROSATOM. The two countries held a meeting on Monday on the sidelines of the 2023 Africa Energy Week in Cape Town, South Africa, where they discussed the progress and prospects of their nuclear partnership.

Ghana and Russia signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on nuclear cooperation in 2015, which covers the design and construction of nuclear power plants, research reactors, atomic particle accelerators, and other related areas.

According to Ryan Collyer, the CEO of ROSATOM for Central and Southern Africa, the Russian company has sent a proposal to Ghana to build a nuclear power plant, which is currently under review by the Ghana Nuclear Power Programme. He also said that ROSATOM is working on a fleet of floating nuclear power plants, which could supply electricity to Ghana’s grid through a power purchase agreement.

“We are very committed to this project in Ghana and we want to ensure that this cooperation works,” Collyer said. He added that ROSATOM is also interested in developing small modular reactors for industrial applications in Ghana, and is looking for a local partner for a long-term agreement.

Ghana’s Energy Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, welcomed the Russian company’s proposal and expressed his government’s support for the nuclear power programme. He said that Ghana has completed the first phase of the programme according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) milestones approach, and has launched into the second phase, which requires comprehensive feasibility study and implementation works.

“Ghana’s main preoccupation is funding and therefore making efforts at attracting the same,” Prempeh said. He also noted that Ghana has a long-standing relationship with Russia, dating back to the Soviet era when Russians helped Ghana explore for oil.

Prempeh reiterated that Ghana is looking for a country that will demonstrate the commitment to funding and investing in nuclear projects, as nuclear energy has become a critical part of the clean energy conservation across the globe.

In June 2022, Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced that his cabinet had approved the inclusion of nuclear energy in the national energy mix. The Ministry of Energy under Prempeh’s leadership has been working to consolidate efforts towards the construction of a nuclear power plant, as part of the country’s clean energy agenda.

The meeting between Ghana and Russia comes at a time when several African countries are exploring the potential of nuclear energy to meet their growing electricity demand and reduce their carbon footprint. According to ROSATOM, it has signed agreements with more than 20 African countries on various aspects of nuclear cooperation.

Source: Ghana Web

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