The Akufo-Addo government has postponed a takeover of the power plants that Africa Middle East Resources Investment (AMERI) was scheduled to be released to the government after the exhaustion of a Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) arrangement.
Rather than take responsibility of the plants which now ought to revert to Ghana as arranged in the 2015 deal by the Mahama government, the current Government is asking AMERI to stay on till April 2021.
Benjamin Boakye, Executive Director of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) reveals that huge indebtedness to power companies is the reason why the government opted to be tied to the apron strings of AMERI further.
A whopping US$92 million is owed AMERI.
“The amount includes a US$36million debt and US$56million in no-cost extension, and it is understood that government wants to use the next three months to settle this amount in addition to conducting a technical audit to ascertain the soundness of the plant,” he said.
“This could have been avoided and the process could have been smoother if we did the renegotiation early,” Benjamin Boakye reportedly told Accra-based B&FT.
Originally, the government had intended to take over the 230 megawatts plant through the Volta River Authority (VRA) from February 1, 2021.
The postponement means that a reduction in tariff from 14.510 cents per kilowatt-hour for the Ghanaian consumer is now out of the window.
The power deal had been signed by the erstwhile John Mahama administration in 2015 at a cost of US$510 million as part of measures that were put in place to arrest Ghana’s perennial energy crisis. The plants were set up to provide 230 megawatts of power to the country over a five-year period.