President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government has announced that it has successfully secured amended terms with independent power producer (IPP) CENIT Energy Limited, which will save the country some US$200 million.
Accordingly, the government has called on all other IPPs to expedite conclusion of their renegotiations.
“On Wednesday, the government and CENIT Energy Limited (CEL) successfully secured terms for an amended power purchase agreement (PPA)”, a statement issued by the PR unit of the Ministry of Finance last Friday said.
According to the Ministry of Finance, Government of Ghana currently pays over US$500 million a year for unused electricity and highly expensive power purchase agreements bequeathed by the John Dramani Mahama administration.
“Most of the PPAs are legacy agreements, entered into under the previous administration in an uncoordinated and hasty attempt to end dumsor.
“The tariffs agreed were not competitive and have contributed significantly to the build-up of debt in the sector and oversupply of energy”, the Ministry of Finance reiterated in the statement.
CEL is a Ghanaian independent power producer (IPP) that began commercial operations in 2012.
The company, according to the statement, has “agreed to convert their power plant into a tolling structure and transfer all resulting cost savings to ECG”.
In addition, CEL has “agreed to a further reduction in the capital recovery tariff of 38.9%, resulting in total savings to government and all Ghanaians in excess of US$200.0 million over the remaining life of the PPA”.
The commitment made by CEL, according to the statement, “is crucial in reinforcing government’s efforts to build a balanced and sustainable energy sector”.
The statement added that, “The terms agreed to between the government and CEL will produce a more favourable situation for both parties and ultimately reduce the cost of electricity for the people of Ghana”.
It quoted the Minister for Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta as saying, “We welcome CENIT Energy’s commitment to Ghana and its role in regenerating the energy sector.
“CENIT is an important partner and a significant energy producer in Ghana.
“We encourage other IPPs to join CENIT in collaborating to help reduce onerous debts and to provide a stable energy supply for the people of Ghana.
“We are committed to building a competitive and dynamic energy sector where private investments can thrive, and the interests of the Ghanaian people and businesses continue to flourish.”
The Akufo-Addo government has in collaboration with the World Bank, created the Energy Sector Recovery Programme (ESRP).
This identified the policies and actions needed for financial recovery in the energy sector over a five-year horizon (2019-2023).
“As part of the reforms, the government is taking steps to institute competitive bidding for future additional capacity, so as to ensure that future tariffs are fair and in line with expected pricing benchmarks,” the statement indicated.
It said government has “demonstrated its commitment to the ESRP by actively developing whole-of-sector initiatives and reforms, including implementing the Cash Waterfall Mechanism (CWM) in April 2020, which allows Electricity Company of Ghana’s revenues to be distributed in a more transparent manner, and managing payments of arrears despite the challenging fiscal situation which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic”.
The ESRP Steering Committee, established by the Energy Sector Recovery Task Force under the helm of Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo, “is working closely with IPPs and gas suppliers under the ESRP Consultation Process to negotiate more favourable agreements for both parties and to achieve a balanced energy sector capable of delivering fair, long-term solutions.
According to the statement, government has undertaken these discussions in good faith and urges all IPPs to continue working closely with the ESRP Steering Committee to conclude negotiations as soon as possible.