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General News of Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Source: Starr FM

Plants shut down may not happen; PDS talks progressive – IPPs

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The chamber of Independent Power Producers has hinted their publicised planned shutdown of power plants feeding power distributor PDS may not happen.

According to CEO of the chamber Elikplim Kwabla Apetorgbor, some progressive conversations have taken place between them and the power distributor.

“The deadline expires next week Wednesday. However, Signs are positive that by close of day we should know the outcome. Things are looking possible that by close of day, the shut down may not happen,” he told Morning Starr host Francis Abban.

The IPPs had expressed frustrations over the failure of PDS to remit any payment to them four months after taking over the operations of ECG.

“At the moment, most of the IPPs are stressed-out and finding it extremely difficult to manage their operations and management costs. Some have to depend on overdrafts to be able to pay salaries and others,” they said in a statement.

It further stated: “We are alerting the consuming public of looming power outages unless PDS fulfils its financial obligations to the IPPs within a 7-day period.”

The Electricity Company of Ghana’s (ECG] operations came under a barrage of criticism because of perceived inefficiencies, which included but were not limited to the huge indebtedness to power generators – particularly the Independent Power Producers [IPPs].

The efforts of successive governments to improve the management of this all-important institution to drive the industrialization agenda of the country resulted in the privatization of the company, with an eventual takeover by PDS in February this year.

According to the chamber, the expectation of IPPs that PDS would honor and abide by the terms of the Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) inherited – particularly by avoiding delay in paying for power purchases with respect to the bargained credit days – has not been met, four months after the takeover.

“IPPs are saddled with huge debts to their creditors and suppliers, and are also challenged in paying employees’ salaries,” the statement noted.

CIPDIB has also called for depoliticization of the power sector to discourage undue political interferences in the sector, for the energy industry to be operated as a pure business.

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