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General News of Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Source: Starr FM

I take responsibility for failed PDS deal – Peter Amewu

Former Energy Minister John Peter Amewu says he takes responsibility for the failed PDS concession deal.

According to him, even though the decision to terminate the controversial deal was a cabinet action, he holds himself responsible as sector minister at the time.

“As the sector minister at the time, I’m responsible for the asset and reliability of the ministry and so yes even though it was a cabinet decision, yes I take responsibility for it,” the Hohoe lawmaker told the Appointments Committee at his vetting Wednesday.

Government in July suspended the concession for the operation and maintenance of the assets and facilities of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) awarded to PDS.

PDS is a consortium between Meralco through Meridian Power Ventures Ltd. (30 percent), Angola-based firm AEnergia SA (19 percent), and three Ghanaian firms namely TG Energy Solution Ghana (18 percent); GTS Engineering Ghana Ltd. (10 percent), and TBK Ghana Ltd. (10 percent).

The suspension order was due to alleged material breaches in the provision of the demand guarantees by PDS, which were key prerequisites for the turnover of the assets and facilities.

But a week after the suspension, ECG and PDS agreed on an interim arrangement where the Meralco-led consortium would still continue activities related to the retail of electricity to ensure continued power supply and service to consumers.

These activities include meter reading, billing, distribution of bills, bill reconciliation, revenue collection and new service connections.

It would also still be responsible for disconnections and reconnections, faulty meter replacements, network faults and repairs, complaints and fault reporting to the call centers, and any other related service.

The Meralco-led PDS signed the concession agreement with ECG on March 1, a year after Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) chose Meralco as the preferred bidder for private-sector participation in ECG and the Parliament of Ghana approved the 20-year concession agreement.

Under the agreement, ECG’s assets would be leased to the PDS for 20 years, while the ECG would become an asset holding company.

Meralco said the PDS Consortium has planned to invest over US$580 million for capital expenditures to strengthen the governance, management and operations of the ECG and improve the delivery of power to end-users as well as support Ghana’s socio-economic growth.

After the end of the concession, all assets would have be transferred back to ECG, it said.

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