AGI Charges Gov’t To Prevent Power Plant Shutdowns By IPPs

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The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has enjoined government to put up measures to avert any potential cut constant supply of power to homes and industries in Ghana.

The call follows the threat by the Chamber of Independent Power Producers, Distributors and Bulk Consumers (CIPDIB), to shut down their power plants should the Power Distribution Services Ghana Limited (PDS) fail to pay all outstanding debts owed them.

Last week, the IPPs who currently supply about 1,500 megawatts of electricity sounded warning to cease their power plants from working, explaining that, the huge financial indebtedness of PDS has resulted in colossal debts to their creditors and suppliers.

According to the IPPs, the situation has also put them in a very challenged position where they are unable to pay employees’ salaries.

The debt, which stood at $700 million, according to the IPPs would leave them with no other option than to shutdown their power plants.

But, PDS denied claims the service owes IPPs, the huge sums for power supplied. The Public Relations Director of PDS, Mr. William Boateng speaking to Joy FM maintained that, the company has no contract with the IPP.

He added they owe the IPPs no obligation to respond to their correspondents or make payments to them.

Meanwhile, the  Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has confirmed receipt of GH¢ 200 million from the Power Distribution Service (PDS) Ghana Limited. The said amount was used to defray part of the debt ECG owes IPPs.

The payment was not done due to the threat from the power producers, the Managing Director for Public Relation and Communications at the ECG, Dan Adjei Larbi, has noted that, saying it was done in accordance with existing agreement between the parties.

He stated, “Whatever money PDS collects, there is a portion for the power producers and because ECG has the power purchase agreements the money will be transferred to ECG and then subsequently, ECG pays the power producers.”

Notwithstanding the payment done by ECG, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the AGI, Mr. Seth Twum Akwaboah has cautioned government that, any challenges with the supply of power could have a negative impact on the country’s industrialization drive.

CEO of AGI, Mr. Seth Twum Akwaboah

“I think that whatever it will take to resolve these kind of issues, we should resolve it and I don’t think this is beyond the capacity of government to resolve,” he said.

Mr. Akwaboah stressed that, if the issues of power get out of hand the country’s ability to be competitive in the era of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement will be affected.

“If you are not competitive on electricity tariffs and on reliability and consistency in the supply of electricity you are in trouble. You will be competed out, so in this time and age you just don’t talk of shutting down, whatever it will take to resolve them, let’s resolve it,” he added.

The CEO for the AGI, observed that, “It’s a huge opportunity because you have a big market out there that you can export to, and on the other hand it’s a huge challenge because huge products can get onto the market and compete with you.”

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