Ecological baseline survey of the Takoradi T2 expansion and a once-through cooling system project site, Aboadze, Ghana
The Environmental Assessment Regulations (LI 1652) of Ghana mandates all bodies undertaking activities that may significantly impact the environment to conduct Environmental Impact Assessment. It is in accordance with this legal provision that an Ecological Baseline Survey was conducted at the Takoradi Thermal Power Plant (TTPP) site located 2 km East of Aboadze near Takoradi to determine the existing flora and fauna and the potential impacts of the T2 Expansion Project on them. Data on the flora and fauna of the project site was gathered through primary and secondary sources such as desk study of previous reports, field survey, focus group discussions and a town-hall meeting. It was discovered that the coastal ecosystem of the project area was fairly pristine except for routine grazing and anthropogenic activities. Biodata collected indicated the predominance of invertebrates, coconut palms, sisals and grasses; while reptiles and small mammals (rodents) were also observed. No turtle nesting sites were observed. Potential impacts of the project include: displacement of aquatic flora and fauna, contamination of marine and terrestrial ecosystems and distortion of food webs. Despite the foregoing, the socioeconomic significance of the T2 expansion project to Ghana is crucial and is worth the ecological trade-off. It was recommended among others for ornamental plants to be planted along the streets of the plant upon completion of the project.
Key words: Thermal energy, once-through cooling system, littoral area, ecological baseline survey, offshore.