AMERI deal overpriced, lopsided transaction

Mr Boakye Agyarko,Minister of Energy

Mr Boakye Agyarko,Minister of Energy

Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, has labelled the Africa Middle East Resources Investment (AMERI) Group power badge deal with Ghana as “overpriced and a lopsided” agreement which does not serve the interest of the country.

 

Government, during the power crisis in 2015 contracted AMERI to Build, Operate, Own and Transfer for the provision of 250MW fast track power generation solution by installing 10 GE aero derivative gas turbine to address the then debilitating power challenges.

 

The agreement was at the cost of US$ 510 million.

 

However, K.T. Hammond, the man who seconded the motion for the agreement, as the Ranking Member on the Energy Committee in the last Parliament, backed by the Majority caucus, is seeking the revocation of the deal, citing misrepresentation by AMERI.

 

He told the Energy Committee in Parliament that AMERI may have short changed Ghana by a “whooping” US$150 million.

 

Appearing before the Committee, chaired by Odotobri MP, Emmanuel Akwasi Gyamfi in Parliament yesterday, the Energy Minister agreed with K.T. Hammond stressing that Ghana could have had a better deal if “due diligence” was done.

 

“The agreement is simply grossly unfair and is not presently as it stands in the best interest of Ghana.

 

“This is a lopsided and an overpriced transaction both in the capital outlay and in terms of the energy charge, the tariffs…..” he noted.

 

According to him, immediately the Akufo-Addo-led government took over the reign of power, it gave AMERI the opportunity for a review “on the quiet” but their gesture was turned down by the Saudi Arabia based investment firm with the conviction that they had a “water-tight” agreement with the previous administration.

 

The government, however, he said has laid a trail of what actually happened culminating in entering the agreement and would support any move for the deal to be abrogated.

 

“Even though the plant is operational, several omissions and concessions were made in the BOOT agreement which require renegotiation, amendments and restructuring of the agreement.

 

“As far as I am concerned, I do not have any thinking to the contrary that a thorough due diligence was done on the AMERI Group itself to estimate their expertise, capacity and their ability to deliver,” he added.

 

The Minority Members on the Committee have pulled out of all talks on the AMERI deal challenging the power of Parliament to independently initiate contract abrogation processes when the deal was between the executive arm of government and AMERI.

 

They boycotted Parliament in August when K.T. Hammond moved an urgent motion for the rescission of the contract.

 

A former Power Minister under whose tenure the deal was signed, Dr Kwabena Donkor, appearing before the Committee earlier mounted a strong defence for the past government and gave the agreement a clean bill of health.

 

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

 

 

 

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