The decision to cede the Aboadze T3 Plant to AMERI will weaken the Volta River Authority (VRA) in the power sector, the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has warned.
ACEP argues that such a move could “injure the strategic role the Volta River Authority (VRA) is playing in ensuring our energy balance is not compromised.”
Staff of VRA expressed discontent with moves by the Power Ministry to cede the T3 plant in the Aboadze thermal enclave, MRP at the Tema Thermal Power station and a parcel of land at the Kpone Thermal Power Station to external parties.
They further served notice they will protest against the Ministry of Power over what they called the interference of the Ministry in the affairs of the authority.
Following the VRA staff’s public disapproval, the Power Ministry chided the VRA for failing to inform it about their concerns before going public.
Move is ‘ill-conceived’
But ACEP, in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, sided with the VRA staff and described the move as “ill-conceived”.
The full statement (which can be viewed here) stated that the ceding of the T3 plant in particular would create the “impression that the decision is targeted at clouding VRA out of the western enclave for eventual takeover by private business concerns with vested interest to use Ghana Gas as their main source of generation.”
ACEP argued that the VRA is “already strategically placed to rehabilitate and operate the plant given that the plant is located within its premises” and that it already made significant investments in the plant.
The statement noted that the VRA was forced by government to invest US$75.8 million in the fuel conversion from a loan which the Authority is still servicing.
“It is therefore surprising to us that in spite of VRA’s huge investments in the plant, its infrastructure and experience in operating thermal plants, as well as the decision to use VRA staff to operate the plant at no charge to AMERI, the government would consider ceding the Plant to AMERI.”
“We would therefore like to call on the government to reconsider its decision on this matter to protect the national interest of supporting VRA to grow its investment portfolio and to become competitive as government pursues its agenda on private sector generation of power.”
“We propose that Government should either provide VRA with a Government Guarantee or support it with the Infrastructure sub-component of the Energy Sector Levies to revive and operate the plant,” ACEP added.