ABIDJAN, Dec 14 (Reuters) - A consortium led by Africa-focused power producer Endeavor Energy began building a $552 million, 200-megawatt power plant in Ghana on Wednesday, it said in a statement.
Despite recent improvements, Ghana is struggling to keep up with growing power demands and is hit by regular blackouts that have been a drag on economic growth.
The plant being built in Aboadze, near the western city of Takoradi, will be a combined cycle, dual-fuel power facility. It is due to come online in April 2019, the consortium, Amandi Energy, said in a statement.
The consortium also includes London-based Aldwych International and other investors.
"Ghana embarked on a mission to strengthen its power sector that has now created an opportune time for international investing," Endeavor's CEO Sean Long said.
Amandi Energy has agreed a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement with the Electricity Company of Ghana.
The project will initially be fuelled by light crude oil but plans to switch to natural gas from Ghana's offshore Sankofa field once available.
Endeavor, Aldwych, the Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund 2 managed by Harith General Partners, as well as the ARM-Harith Infrastructure Fund and other investors contributed $134 million in equity for the project.
The U.S. government's Overseas Private Investment Corporation, as well as the CDC Group, Nedbank Ltd and Rand Merchant Bank will lend a combined $418 million for the project, with Overseas Private Investment Corp contributing $250 mln of that. (Reporting by Joe Bavier; Editing by Susan Fenton)