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New steering committee begins negotiations with IPPs on energy contracts

Government has formed a steering committee, which has begun re-negotiation with the Independent Power Producers (IPP) on the Take or Pay energy contracts.

The re-negotiations are a sequel to the inauguration of the board of the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Corporation, which is currently on a roadshow to seek for investors to partner government to exploit the country’s bauxite resources.

Mr Samuel Kwesi Gyamfi, Chairman of the Mines and Energy Committee, announced the re-negotiations in a contribution to the debate in Parliament on Tuesday, to approve the 2020 Budget and Financial Policy of the Government.

He stated that government was on course to delivering on its promises and stabilizing the economy.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on Wednesday, November 13, presented the 2020 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government to Parliament where he outlined programmes and policies to achieve this vision.

Mr Gyamfi stated government was delivering on its promise to providing cheap, reliable and sustainable energy to the people.

He, however, raised concerns about some agreements relating to capacity charges and Take or Pay contracts entered into by the previous government with some Independent Power Producers (IPPs), which were not in the country’s interest.

He stated that the Government was putting in place the necessary infrastructure to ensure that the excess power was evacuated to the neighbouring countries for export.

Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, Ranking Member on Trade and Industry and Member of Parliament (MP) for Ellembelle, said Ghanaians were facing economic hardships as result of the numerous taxes imposed on the people.

He criticized the Government for neglecting roads and other infrastructure in the Western Region, which, he said, had compounded the woes of the people adding; “Government must live up to the promise he made to the people.”

He called on the President to make good his promise to make Accra the cleanest city in Africa.

Mr Buah, a former Minister of Energy, debunked government claims that the growth in the Ghanaian economy was from the non-oil sector, explaining that; “There is a lot of talk about growth but we know where this growth came from. The only growth we have seen in this economy is the oil.”

Mr Buah said at the heart of the country’s economy was the construction sector and that in 2016 it grew by 8.4 per cent but it was now in the negative.

Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, the Deputy Minister of Energy, said the Government inherited an energy sector, which was badly damaged and for the past three years it had been trying to correct those mistakes and develop an energy sector that could sustain industrial activities and create jobs for the people.

However, “today Ghana is rated among the fastest growing economies in the world because the nation has been able to supply energy to industries, which is an important input for production and provision of services.”

Dr Adam announced that Ghana was estimated to earn GH¢8.9 billion from petroleum revenue, which is 13 per cent of projected total revenue and 2.2 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He criticized the NDC Administration for imposing higher tariffs on Ghanaians as result high gas prices.

He said the Government, through negotiations, had been able to reduce the gas price and now able to provide cheap and sustainable gas for industries to grow.

Mr Adam Mutawakilu, Ranking Member on the Mines and Energy Committee, maintained that the discovery of oil by Springfield Energy was as result of the good Local Content Policy developed under former President Mahama.

He said the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Administration, through better negotiations, also achieved significant stakes for the country in the Springfield Energy.

He said in 2014 universal access to rural electrification in Ghana stood at 75 per cent, in 2015 it rose to 80.5 per cent and in 2016 again increased to 83.24 per cent.

He, however, stated that the NPP, after three years of being in government, had only increased rural electrification from the 83.24 per cent to 84.98 per cent.

Mr Mutawakilu also criticized the NPP Government for failing to utilize onshore gas infrastructure put in place by the Mahama-led Administration.

He said while Ghana had excess gas, which had not been utilized, government was building infrastructure to import liquefied Gas into the country.

Source: GNA

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