Power Ministry meets Parliament Committee over $950m deal

Power Ministry meets Parliament Committee over $950m deal
Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Austin Brakopowers | Email: Austin.powers@myjoyonline.com
Date: 26-07-2016 Time: 12:07:09:pm

The Power Ministry is expected to meet Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee Tuesday to explain why the nation should agree to a controversial $950 million deal for a 400 MW thermal plant.

Officials of the Ministry will justify why the many government investments in the energy sector in terms of plants are inadequate to solve the nation’s power challenges.

The deal which will cost the nation close to $1 billion comes as Ghanaians suffer what appeared to be the longest power crisis in the history of the nation.

Some officials who spoke to Joy News’ Elton Brobbey ahead of the meeting disclosed how crucial the deal is to the nation so far as the resurgent power challenges are concerned.

According to them, the Akosombo dam which is the major power generator in the country has for some time now been unable to produce to its full capacity due to the all-time low water level.

The Bui dam is also faced with some challenges which have affected its operation.

All the dams put together will not provide what the nation needs at this critical time, hence the relevance of the deal to secure 400 MW thermal plant for the nation.

But speaking to Joy News, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Volta River Authority (VRA), Dr Charles Wereko Brobbey, says the deal deserved to be thrashed by the Members of the Mines and Energy Committee.

He says Ghanaians “are sick and tired of living in dumsor for so long” and any solution proposed to solve the crisis should not be in the distant future.

He explained that the challenge with these contracts is that, whether the nation is able to access easy fuel or not is of no interest to the second party so long as the money is paid for the period the plant remains in the country.

Dr Brobbey says “Sweet hard deals” like this are not good for any country, not alone Ghana because it ends up generating more challenges for the country.

Without mincing words, he entreated members of the Committee to push the interest of the nation when considering the deal.

“I would say that they should reject it outright. They should work in the national interest. For the 33 months or so it will take this deal to materialise in that time we can put out an open tender and we can contract whatever capacity we need far cheaper prices and my advice to the Energy Committee is that don’t act partisan and national,” he said.

The deal he says “is not in the interest of the nation to sign this deal.”