Parliament Rubberstamps ECG, AMERI Power Away To Them
Ghana’s energy sector is going through some bizarre period, with repeated cries by insiders about how elements within the Akufo-Addo family, as well as the ruling party’s apparatchiks close to the President, have taken over the sector and reaping a fortune on the blindside of Ghanaians.
An institution such as African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) led by Ben Boakye, has had repeated concerns in recent times on many projects in the energy sector, including this week’s US$500 million Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) concession engineered through the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) with a 51 percent local content which is shrouded in mystery.
Yesterday came yet another government renegotiated deal involving the Ameri power project, claiming the new deal with an unknown company called, Mytilineous International Trading Company” will save the country a whopping amount of US$400 million over a 15-year period.
Details on Mytilineous International Trading Company are fogy, as little is known about them, especially why Parliament has been pushed to approve the deal nocturnally.
It was laid a day before the House goes into recess. It is as though someone is seeking to avoid a thorough scrutiny of the deal, know its promoters and push for value for money.
ACEP’s Ben Boakye, has lamented over the Mytilineous International Trading Company deal and the failure of Parliament to get the nation value for money.
He insisted that, the Mytilineous deal is worse than the AMERI deal, adding that the names being thrown about as the promoters, is in incorrect.
But ahead of the deal, President Akufo-Addo’s younger brother, Edward Bumpty Akufo-Addo, the President’s nephew, Gabby Asare-Otchere Darko, were seen in the company of the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, negotiating with the owners of Ameri Energy, although they have no known official duties in the Akufo-Addo government.
The Herald heard that Boakye Agyarko later complained about how he had been swarmed by elements of the first family that, he had become restlessly breathless.
Aside the President younger brother and his nephew, National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Freddie Blay,
was also captured in Dubai in meetings with the owners of the Ameri project, immediately the NPP took over power from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in January 2017.
Again, aside Ameri, officials of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) have had issues with Edward Bumpty Akufo-Addo in his involvement with the Russian company, Gazprom, and raised red flags about him.
Gazprom, later metamorphosed into another Russian company, Rosneft with which Freddie Blay, led the GNPC to sign a gas supply agreement at 26th St Petersburg International Economic Forum, St Petersburg in Russia.
Strangely, the cost of the Liquefied Natural Gas (“LNG”) supply contract which was signed earlier between Gazprom and GNPC, but later transferred to Rosneft, was not made public.
The Herald, is informed that the Chief Executive of the GNPC, Dr. K.K. Sarpong, also has his peculiar issues with the incursions of members of the Akufo-Addo family into his job description and specification.
Meanwhile, according to the government under the new agreement, a new company- Mytilineous International Trading Company, will take over the management of the Ameri power plants for 15 years.
The new company, has offered to pay Ameri an amount of $52,160,560.00, with government paying the remaining $39 million to the Dubai based company, so they can wash their hands off the deal entirely.
The agreement covering the new deal was sent to Parliament yesterday, for approval with the Energy Minister, saying the new agreement is in the best interest of the country.
According to the agreement, the price at which government will now buy power will be reduced from 14.5919 cents to 11.7125 cents per kWh, which will lead to a savings of $405.067 million.
“The drop in tariff of US cents 2.8793 per kWh, has resulted in a yearly cost savings of about $27.004 million. The total cost of savings over the 15 year period is $405.067m,” the new agreement said in part.
But Accra-based Joy FM reports the Minority NDC in parliament as saying the new agreement is terrible.
They said, the deal would make Ghana pay double the amount for the original contract to AMERI.
Minority Spokesperson on Energy, Adams Mutawakilu, disputed the claim by government that the new deal would save Ghana $400 million.
He said, the new deal would rather make Ghana lose money and the old deal should have been allowed to stay.
“There are a lot of questions for the minister to answer. This agreement will be worse. They say ours is worse. Theirs will be terrible,” he said.
He said, the cost will be about twice what AMERI was claiming.
“The old deal was perfect and that is why the Attorney General vindicated us,” he said.
The Minority is asking the government to provide details on the cost of the amended Ameri agreement for parliamentary ratification.
Adams Mutawakilu, who is the Ranking Member on the Mines and Energy Committee, on Citi FM challenged government to provide clear details on the cost of the renegotiated deal, saying “We are all aware that the plant that should cost GHC 360 million, Ameri gave it to us at 510 million. However in this agreement, he did not put how much we will be paying with this new agreement and how much it will cost so we want to find out how much we will be paying a year in respect to this agreement.”
“We have our figures, but we would like him to either confirm or otherwise. If our figures confirm, then we can speak authoritatively on it. In the agreement as well, I saw some savings of $405 million, but we beg to differ because we have different figures on that. We would like to verify those figures from him and then come out publicly with better information,” he added.
He further indicated that his side would meet with the sector Minister to register their concerns over the renegotiated deal.
“We are worried that this document which is very important and of interest to Ghanaians has just been laid last night. Soon we will be rising, either tomorrow or tomorrow next, and this will put constraint on us to scrutinize the document. We will be meeting the Minister this afternoon and we have a lot of issues to discuss because the purpose for which you will ask for the abrogation, we are not sure that it is the cure in the agreement.”
Meanwhile, ACEP, has called for investigations into the ECG concession, especially those behind the 51 percent local content.
Ben Boakye of ACEP, has also described the deal as bad and like the ECG concession, called for a probe.
More to come!