Karpowership Eyeing New Markets in West Africa and South Africa

  • Bloomberg has reported that floating power plant operator, Karpowership, is in talks to bring power to two West African countries.
  • Karpowership already supplies 1400MW to eight African countries. 
  • Its vessels can hook into an onshore grid quickly, sidestepping the red-tape and construction issues involved with building a traditional power plant. And these ships come with their own fuel — liquefied natural gas and fuel oil.

Karpowership executives met the Cameroonian Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute on January 25 and discussed a possible deal to supply power with the country’s main port Douala, Yaounde-based Energies Media reported, citing the state broadcaster. The company has not specified the second West African country.

The company is also listed as a bidder in South Africa’s 2000MW Risk Mitigation IPP programme. Their bid includes power ships for the ports of Saldanha, Saldanha, Coega and Richards Bay. Read more

Switching fuels

The company is seeking to convert more of its fleet to natural gas from heavy fuel, Harezi said. It’s already converted a ship that supplies 470MW to Ghana. It intends to switch to liquefied natural gas in Mozambique this year, and eventually in Senegal too, she said.

Plug and play

“The expected start of liquefied natural gas production within a few years offshore Mozambique and Senegal will allow these countries to use domestically produced LNG, further reducing costs,” Stefan Ulrich, an analyst at London-based Energy Aspects said by e-mail to Bloomberg.

“A ship (and its accompanying LNG storage unit) can relocate and start providing power to a new location within a few months,” he said.

Harezi wants her power ships to be seen as more than a quick-fix.

“A land-based power plant needs to be dismantled at the end of its lifetime, which leaves a big environmental problem in the hands of the government,” she said. “When the economic and physical lifetime of the power ship expires after 25 years we just unplug and then leave.”

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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