The President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, has invited TAQA, the largest UAE investor in Ghana, to develop further power and water infrastructure in the country.

In a meeting with its leadership in Abu Dhabi, he lauded ties between the UAE and Ghana, and the role of TAQA in supporting economic growth in the West African nation with the Takaoradi thermal power plant, which represents roughly 15% of Ghana’s installed capacity.

“The Takoradi power plant is one of our vital resources. It has a key role in our economic vision, and its potential is key to our growth. And yes, we are looking to upgrade that potential, significantly,” the president said.

Mahama’s comments followed a meeting with TAQA executives in the presence of Sheikh Khalid Ghanim Al Ghaith, the UAE’s assistant foreign minister for economic affairs.

At the time, Al Gaith noted: “Co-operation with West Africa and Ghana in particular is a major part of the UAE’s foreign policy agenda, and we are very interested in increasing that co-operation by sharing our expertise in various fields, especially in energy.”

TAQA raised $330m in project finance for the expansion of the Takoradi plant last year, and the group’s head of global power, Frank Perez, noted: “The finance deal we put together was so successful, it now forms a template for future programmes.”

Khaled Al Sayari, TAQA’s VP for strategic relationship, added: “We also discussed TAQA looking at the water market – a field in which Ghana has been asking for the UAE to share its expertise, and so this is another area in which further co-operation could be established.”

TAQA operates and holds a 90% share in the Takoradi 2 plant, while Ghana’s Volta River Authority, the main generator of electricity in Ghana, holds the remaining stake.

In 2011, the plant was converted from an oil-fired plant to one fuelled by natural gas, while the current expansion project aims to increase its output by 50% from 220 megawatts (MW) to approximately 330 MW, without the need for additional fuel or emissions.