A former deputy energy minister under the erstwhile John Mahama administration, John Abdulai Jinapor has expressed disappointment in the government for failing to take-over of the 250-megawatt (MW) Africa and Middle East Resource Investment (AMERI) thermal power plant by VRA.
The legislator had earlier advised the government to put in place all necessary protocols to ensure a successful take-over of the 250-megawatt thermal power.
The Government of Ghana was expected to resume ownership of the 250-megawatt (MW) Africa and Middle East Resource Investment (AMERI) thermal power plant from February 1, 2021as per the terms of the agreement.
The VRA was also expected to add the plant to its stock which will ultimately lead to cheaper thermal power because the plant will become the property Ghana.
It was then the idea of the legislator for the government to put in place all necessary protocols to ensure a successful take-over by VRA without further delay.
However, the former deputy minister has revealed that the government of Ghana has failed to take over the Ameri Plant as stipulated in the (BOOT) agreements due to its inability to procure the services of an independent Auditor to assess the plant.
“Consequently the Ministry of Energy has formally requested for a postponement of the handing over to April ending contrary to the terms of the Agreement.”
In his view, “this decision will certainly result in additional cost to the state as well as uncertainty on the agreement.
This latest development may disrupt power supply to Electricity consumers.”
Although AMERI wrote in September 2020 to inform the government of its intention to hand over the plant by the date stated in the contract, the latter is yet to take the necessary steps, according to B&FT sources.
For instance, it is understood that the government has yet to conduct a technical audit to ascertain the integrity of the plant. There has also not been any form of training of VRA staff to man the facility and a memorandum of understanding or roadmap on how to settle an outstanding balance of US$32 million due to the Dubai based energy firm, as of the beginning of January 2021.
Additionally, AMERI wants the government to make full payment for January before the state assumes ownership, but this has not been done yet. “From IES checks, the government has been slow. We have not seen better preparation from government,” says Nana Amoasi VII, Executive Director of Institute for Energy Security (IES), an energy think-tank.