The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has expressed worry over the government’s decision to enter into a sole-sourced agreement with Mytilineos Holdings, to transport and operate the Ameri-powered plant from Aboadze in the Western to Kumasi in Ashanti Region.
According to the Energy think tank, the transaction which is yet to be submitted for parliamentary approval was not financially sound and does not favour the country as the transportation of the plant would cost the country $35.6 million.
ACEP’s Policy Lead In-charge of Petroleum and Conventional Energy, Mr Kojo Yaotse, who disclosed this at a press briefing yesterday in Accra, said the transportation of the plant was costly and must be halted.
He questioned the basis of the Ministry of Energy relieving AMERI of its obligations under Section 26 of the BOOT Agreement approved by Parliament, even before an independent condition assessment of the plant was conducted.
Mr Yaotse said since Mytilineos was not a party to the BOOT Agreement, how was the company going to be held responsible for the transfer of commitments under Section 26 of the BOOT Agreement, stressing that, these were some of the concerns that demand immediate explanation from government.
“The decision to absolve AMERI of its responsibility to put the plant at its OEM recommended state before the transfer is erroneous, and sins against the terms of the agreement and, by extension, the interest of Ghana.
“By absolving AMERI of its responsibilities, it subsequently drew down the Stand-By Letters of Credit (SBLC) to the tune of $14 million as its final payment in March 2022,” Mr Yaotse said.
He said to prevent the country from losing money, the government should allow the Volta River Authority (VRA) to take over the operation of the Ameri plant since the Authority had the expertise in managing the plant.
He said although the Ministry of Energy had advanced negotiations with Mytilineos SA to relocate and install the AMERI plant from Aboadze to Kumasi, the government should put the negotiation on hold.
The contract also grants the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) to Mytilineos SA for three years at the cost of $36 million, bringing the total cost of the relocation and maintenance of the plant to $71.6 million barring any unforeseen upward adjustments.
ACEP is emphatic on the contract costs even though the Ministry denies it is conclusive, “Mr Yaotse said.
BY BERNARD BENGHAN