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General News of Monday, 18 November 2019

Source: Dailyguidenetwork.com

Search for PDS replacement underway

Government has said it is urgently looking for a suitable replacement for Power Distribution Services (PDS) whose contract it terminated recently due to some contractual glitches.

According to Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, government remained fully committed to private sector participation in the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

He was speaking to Parliament Wednesday in Accra.

“We are prepared to review the transaction structure and indeed, recognize the need to improve significantly the management of ECG, by bringing in world-class private sector expertise and attracting adequate private capital,” he noted.

He also said Government was enthused by the critical need to ensure the transfer of skills with a view to build local capacity as well as introduce international best practices to enhance the operational, technical, commercial and financial wherewithal of our national electricity distribution utility.

“Against this backdrop, Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that Government intends to initiate an accelerated tender process to select a new private partner for ECG in the coming months.”

The Minister said heightened scrutiny would be brought to bear in the design and implementation of the financial and technical evaluation criteria to ensure that interested bidders not only had credibility and extensive experience in operating and managing a comparable electricity utility, but also possessed the financial wherewithal to make the requisite investments in ECG to achieve significant reductions in technical and commercial losses, as well as drive operational efficiency to deliver sustained service reliability for all Ghanaians.

Moreover, he said Government would make every effort to avoid the pitfalls that the PDS concession encountered and institute broad Ghanaian institutional participation, as well as democratize local equity participation, with an eventual listing on the Ghana Stock Exchange.