Business News of Monday, 7 August 2017
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Gas Company, Dr. Ben Asante has disclosed that the facility is unable to refinance the one billion dollars CDB loan acquired to construct it due to the Volta River Authority’s (VRA) indebtedness to the company.
The facility was planned to refinance the loan but the VRA is reported to owe Ghana Gas over 500 million dollars. The situation is due to the Energy Sector debt.
Speaking to journalists after a press soiree, the CEO of Ghana Gas, Dr. Ben Asante announced that the Finance ministry is paying for the loan as measures are put in place to improve revenue collection from the Electricity Company of Ghana.
“Currently, the facility is not able to finance the loan. This is because VRA owes us. The Ministry of Finance is now paying for the loan,” he said. “Going forward, we are going to ensure that the last entity in the chain which is ECG, which interfaces with the customers, improve their collection protocol. This will mean that they will improve their collection of money down the chain,” he stressed.
Dr. Asante blamed the energy sector debt on ECG’s ability to pay for the power it is supplied.
He maintained that ECG is a critical entity in the chain whose efficiency will be improve to avert more debt in the sector.
“That is what actually broke the chain. The fact that ECG hasn’t adequately collected whatever it is owed. I believe its inadequate collection of the revenue is the result of the rolling down of debt through GRIDCo , through VRA to those of us who actually supply them fuel,” he said.
He stated that government, in partnership with all entities along the chain have put in measures to avert the situation in the future.
Meanwhile Dr. Ben Asante assured that the nation will not experience any power crisis during shutdown of Tullow’s FPSOs since Ghana Gas has made provision for gas storage.
“What we do is we try to store some gas within the pipe, gas is not like oil, where you can put in a tank, so we store the gas in the pipe at pressure, so it gives us some hours of supply before we actually go to zero flow. So we do try to make sure that we have some transient gas in the pipeline that we can use.