General News Thu, 9 Aug 2018

AMERI Deal: MoF, AG, VRA were consulted - Parliament Energy Committee

It has emerged that top government officials and agencies were involved in the renegotiation of the botched controversial AMERI deal which led to the sacking of the Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko.

A memorandum accompanying the Novation and amendment deal and in possession of Starr News proves the involvement of several other government agencies including the Ministry of Finance, the Attorney General’s department and other officials who worked on the new deal.

This has been corroborated by the Chairman of the Mines and Energy committee of Parliament, Emmanuel Akwasi Gyamfi.

The revelations comes after several calls by a section of the public for the President to sack the other three deputy Energy ministers and anyone who worked on the deal.

Portions of the document sighted by Starrfmonline.com states that “during the renegotiations, the Ministry of Energy involved Key stakeholders from the ministry of finance, office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice, the Volta River Authority, the Energy Commission, and External Legal consultations.”

The document concludes by stating that “taking into consideration, the huge financial obligation of government under the existing BOOT agreement with AMERI Energy, coupled with the benefits to be derived from the new transaction, particularly the waiver of $57.7 million due AMERI, that government of Ghana will have to pay, the reduction in the stand-by letter of credit from $51million to $37.5 million, the cost savings of 405.07 million over the period and the extension of the term to reduce the effect of the tariff on end users of electricity, parliament is respectfully requested to approve the novation and amendment agreement as per paragraph 1.0 above.”

Following the dismissal of Mr. Agyarko over the AMERI deal, the Lands and Natural Resources Minister John Peter Amewu is to act as Minister for Energy until a substantive appointment is made.

The new agreement was to extend the current five-year deal with Africa and Middle East Resources Investment Group (AMERI) Energy which is currently operating a 300MW emergency power plant in Ghana to 15 years and bring onboard a new company from Greece, Mytilineous International Trading Company, to manage the plant for the period.

Analysis from observers indicates that the proposed amendment to the AMERI agreement will see a cash flow of $1,125,007,380.

But it is expected that the government would be paying a total of $1.375 billion for the AMERI power plant over approximately 15 years instead of the original $510 million.

Background to AMERI deal

The John Mahama administration in 2015 signed a contract with Africa and Middle East Resources Investment Group (AMERI) Energy, to rent the 300MW of emergency power from AMERI.

This was at the peak of the country’s power crisis.

The power agreement with UAE-based AMERI Energy cost $510 million.

But according to the Akufo-Addo administration, it found out that the government had been short-changed by AMERI as they presented an overpriced budget, and were overpaid by $150 million.

Under the new agreement, a new company, Mytilineous International Trading Company, will take over the management of the AMERI power plant for 15 years.

The new company has offered to pay AMERI an amount of $52,160,560, with the government paying the remaining $39 million to the Dubai-based AMERI Energy to wash its hands off the deal entirely.
Source: starrfmonline.com
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