The Chamber of Independent Power Producers, Distributors and Bulk Consumers (CIPDiB) says government currently pays independent power producers (IPPs) only 40 percent of power invoices on a monthly basis, a situation they describe as inadequate to sustain their operations.
The chamber said members have had to resort to loans to keep their operations going. It added, however, that their debt service obligations have also become unsustainable, hence their demand for prompt payment of overdue invoices to the tune of US$1.44bn as at September this year.
The chamber last week notified the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) and other power utilities of the planned shutdown of IPPs’ plants until government clears 80 percent of the debt owed.
“This is against the backdrop of the recent US$1bn Eurobond issue which we expected to be used to pay these outstanding invoices. The chamber has been agitating for the payment of these outstanding invoices for some time now. It is lack of tangible progress by way of payment which compels us to have to inform the public of the increasing difficulty in our members keeping the lights on,” the chamber president, Elikplim Kwabla Apetorgbor, said.
The government has said it pays US$500m every year for electricity it does not use, because of excess power contracted from IPPs on take-or-pay terms.
Since 2019, the government has been engaging with IPPs, under the auspices of the Energy Sector Recovery Programme, to renegotiate power purchase agreements, include tariffs and capacity charges.