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Can Power Ships Solve Ghana's Energy Woes?

Power ship

Published Aug 13, 2015 8:43 AM by The Maritime Executive

Ghana is hiring power ships as part of the solution to its power crisis. Ghana government has ordered two power ships from Turkish energy company Karadeniz Holdings. The vessels are scheduled to arrive later this month and will be operational in September.

A power ship is a converted vessel that has been modified for power generation. A power plant is installed on ships and they are often sent to developing nations. Karadeniz’s power ships operate for about 12 hours a day in a 12 day cycle. 

Ghana currently uses open cycle gas turbines (OCGTs) to generate power. OCGTs are internal combustion engines that operate with rotary rather than reciprocating motion and run on diesel fuel, which can be expensive.

South Africa has energy issues and is also considering ordering power ships. Currently, the South African government has implemented rolling power outages on a rotating schedule to deal with its energy  shortages. The strategy is known as load and shedding and its objective is to ease the pressure on the power grid to prevent its collapse. Load shedding is implemented whenever there is a discrepancy between energy supply and demand.