450MW barges: Gov’t likely to break April promise – ACEP

Business News of Thursday, 26 February 2015

Source: myjoyonline.com

Acep Boss3

African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has punched holes into a Government promise to bring in 450megawatts in emergency power from Turkey by April, insisting that a December deadline is more likely.

“It will take about six months to do preparation for operation of the barges…and so if the Minister is promising to bring in the barges by April, I have my doubts….when the site has not even been prepared.”

Dr. Amin Mohammed was setting out his analysis on the Turkey power deal during the Joy FM Power Forum Wednesday which discussed immediate solutions to the power crisis which is in its third year.

Government has announced that it will be bringing in Turkey Company, Karpower, to provide two barges each generating 450megawatts to bridge Ghana’s deficit of about a 1000megawatts.

Karpower’s arrangement is supposed to last for 10 years. Power will be supplied at 19 cents per kilowatt. Doubting the feasibility of the deal Dr. Amin Adams said Government is still yet to finalize the deal which has dragged on for a year.

“We have taken almost a year negotiating the barge…the first time Government announced [it] was in June last year and up till now we have not finalized negotiations on the deal”, he said.

He said the deal is plagued with too many guarantees from the Turkish partners and suspects that Government will not be able to meet the conditions. GNPC is to issue the $100 million bank guarantee to the Karpower deal. Government says the ECG, which is signing the agreement, is not liquid enough to take up the deal.

However this is not the only guarantee being negotiated, he said. There is the power purchase and equipment rental to be finalized. “We are not told guarantee about power purchase, we are not told about rental of the equipment and this is why the lack of transparency is quite worrying”, he said.

According to Dr. Amin Adams although the barges are expected to be cited at Tema, “where the machines will be anchored have not been prepared”. He said it will take at least six months to prepare Tema for the barge but Government’s announced deadline is only two months away.

In view of the unfinished negotiations, ACEP is advising that “Government should begin to moderate expectations they are building among Ghanaians especially industry so that they can plan properly.”

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