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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has by executive order approved the renegotiated AMERI deal which is currently awaiting Parliamentary approval.
A statement by the President’s secretary, Nana Asante Bediatuo stated that “the President of the Republic of Ghana has granted executive approval for the Novation and Amendment Agreement dated July 20, 2018 between (i) the Government of the Republic of Ghana represented by the Minister for Energy ( or his authorised representative), (ii) Volta River Authority(VRA), (iii) Africa and Middle East Resource Investment Group(AMERI ENERGY), (iv) Ameri Energy Power Equipment Trading LLC ( AMERI EQUIPMENT), (v) Power Projects Sanayi Insaat Ticanet Limited Sirketi (PPR), and (vi) Mytilineos International Trading Company AG (Mytilineos), for operations and maintenance of the existing 250MW AMERI Thermal Plant at Aboadzi, for a period of 15 years.”
The executive order comes amid the growing number of groups and individuals who have slammed the government over the re-negotiated AMERI deal.
The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) wants Parliament to reject the renegotiated AMERI deal saying the new deal will cost the country more after the 15 year period.
“We are committing to pay $50m for 15 years which is not on for the Ghanaian public and I hope Parliament will protect the public by rejecting the AMERI amendment,” Executive Director of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Ben Boakye stated.
The Institute of Energy Security (IES) has also said the country risks paying more when the deal is agreed upon, in its current form.
Under the new agreement, a new company, Mytilineos 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.
The agreement covering the new deal was laid before Parliament on Thursday for approval.
The new deal has also been rejected by senior staff of the Volta River Authority (VRA).
The Senior Staff Association and the Public Services Workers Union at the VRA have said the new deal “will bring more hardship to the good people of our dear country- Ghana.”
According to the staff, Ghana has just under three years left to assume control of the plant under the old deal signed by the Mahama administration.
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 deal cost $510 million.
But according to the NPP administration, it found out that the government had been shortchanged by AMERI as they presented an overpriced budget, and were overpaid by $150 million.
The new administration thus commenced a renegotiation process to ensure value for money.