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Business News of Monday, 28 September 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Pay up $1.5bn debt to avoid resurgence of ‘dumsor’ – IPPs to govt

The Chamber of Independent Power Producers, Distributors and Bulk Consumers (CIPDIB–Ghana) has charged government to regularly pay its members for Ghana to continuously have power.

According to the Chamber, government owes them about USD$1.5 billion.

The group’s reaction followed government’s announcement of renegotiating Power Purchase Agreement with CENIT Energy Limited, a Ghanaian independent power producer.

CEO of the Chamber, Elikplim Kwablah Apetorgbor, said government must put in place measures to avoid plunging the country into an energy crisis.

“At present, ECG is heavily indebted to the entire power sector, even to the state institutions like VRA, GRIDCo. Likewise, they owe the IPP’s to a tune of about $1.5 billion. Now under this, government is going to add further responsibilities to it. What that means is that ECG must ensure that the fuel suppliers are regularly paid to guarantee the supply of power.

The tolling agreement is not new to our power market so if ECG will not live up to expectation, it means we are going back to those days where fuel supply was the cause of irregular power supply. The bottom line is that there should be regularly payment for the supplier to guarantee continuous generation of power,” he told Citi News.

The chamber has however warned of shutting down their thermal plants by the end of September 2020, if government fails to clear the USD$1.5 billion debt owed them.

“For us, we are open to this tolling arrangement if Ghana wants to carry the responsibility of the fuel supply. It’s a risk that we are transferring to them. So if government wants to manage it, we are comfortable because we don’t need to go and borrow money to pay for gas.

But we are saying that if government cannot pay us, we are going to shut down because we’ve had enough patience and tolerance. Our creditors are running after us, and we don’t have a choice,” added.

Earlier this year, the Chamber of Independent Power Producers, Distributors and Bulk Consumers (CIPDIB–Ghana), expressed disappointment over government’s failure to address the debt of about USD$1.5 billion owed them in the Mid-year budget.

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