Politics of Sun, 29 Jul 201814

Parliament holds off consideration of new AMERI deal over cost concerns

Parliament did not consider the amendment of the AMERI deal before its recess on Saturday.

The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu explained to the media that this is because the request for further information about the deal is critical.

This follows concerns raised by some civil society groups and Minority MPs. The Minority in Parliament asked the government to provide details on the cost of the amended AMERI agreement brought before parliament for ratification.

Senior staff of the Volta River Authority (VRA) also declared their opposition to the new arrangement on the reviewed AMERI deal.

“People are raising issues about the gains we said we are clawing back… We need to interrogate the figures to know that what we are doing is in the best interests of the country, which explains why [the deal wasn’t considered].”

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“I spoke to the Finance Minister, I spoke to the Attorney General plus the Minster of Energy and we all decided to tarry a while and have a closer look at it,” the Majority Leader stated.

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.

The agreement covering the new deal was laid before Parliament on Thursday for approval.

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.

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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.

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