The Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) says it is confident that a qualified partner will be selected to invest in the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), to bring on board the needed technical skills to enable the company meet the growing demand for energy in Ghana.
“It is also expected that the partner will also unlock the potential in other parts of the power system, including power generation,” Chief Executive Officer of MiDA, Ing Owura K. Sarfo told Journalists at a press conference in Accra yesterday.
The media event sought to apprise stakeholders and the public of the progress made so far and what remained to be done in order to commence the implementation of the Ghana Compact 2 Pro-gramme.
He said the government through other stakeholders had invited expressions of interest from local and international companies to identify a qualified private sector partner to invest in and operate the distribution business of ECG through a public-private partnership.
The partnership formed part of the Ghana Power Compact between the government and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, will help transform ECG in terms of technology and efficiency in power distribution to become a stronger company able to meet the current and future needs of the country.
The request for expression of interest, which has been publicised in local and international media, is a demonstration of government’s commitment to engage in a transparent and competitive process to attract and select a proven private partner to operate ECG through a concession agreement.
“ECG is critical for our nation’s growth and development. It is a cornerstone of the energy sector, which is why this government initiative is so important,” Ing Safo said.
The CEO said the Ghana Compact 2 Programme was to be a major catalyst that would contribute to the development efforts of the country.
“This is because it would, in the medium term, address the root cause of ‘DUMSOR’, which has had such a debilitating effect on our economy. The critical need for reliable and available power in the development of any country cannot be over-emphasised,” he said.
Ing Sarfo said the power compact among others would seek to reform the power distribution sector and undertake foundational investments to encourage more independent power producers to come in with much needed additional generation and improve the reliability of the distribution system.
ECG’s financial and operational turnaround project, NEDCo financial and operational turnaround, regulatory strengthening and capacity building, access project, power generation sector improvement and energy efficiency and demand side management are the six key projects that have been identified under the compact.
He said tremendous effort had been made to fulfill the conditions needed to be satisfied before the programme funds could be released.
“I am happy to announce that the progress made so to date in these endeavors is very good. You would recall that one of the critical conditions precedent to the compact becoming effective is that the tender document for the acceptable private sector participation in ECG must be launched,” he said.
He said the International Finance Corporation (IFC) had been engaged as transaction advisers and to date it had completed its initial due diligence activities and submitted draft reports, which were currently under review.
The report he said was expected within the next two weeks and once it was approved, it could proceed with the preparation of the tender documents to be released to parties who responded to the request for the expression of interest.