The Ministry of Energy says the legal title to the AMERI Plant has been transferred into state control after the government confirmed that the plant is suitable for purpose at the end of its agreement time.
A Deputy Energy Minister, William Owireku Aidoo, made the announcement while representing the sector Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, at the formal handing over ceremony of the plant to Ghana by AMERI Co Ltd in Aboadze, Western Region.
The Deputy Minister explained that the Build, Own, Operate, and Transfer (BOOT) Agreement signed in 2015 between the Government of Ghana and Africa and Middle East Resources Investment (AMERI) for a turnkey power solution through the construction of a power plant, ratified by Parliament in March 2015, originally stipulated a 60-month payment period.
“Upon the coming into office of the NPP in January 2017, the government took the view that the required payments over the 60-month period were rather onerous on the public purse and took steps to renegotiate it in order to allow the state more room in meeting its payment obligations without default,” he further noted.
According to him, this led to an agreement between Ghana and AMERI to extend the payment period from 60 to 72 months, with an additional understanding that the title to the equipment would be handed to the Ghanaian government upon completion of the extended time (January 2022).
He also mentioned that various efforts had been made ahead to the end of the term to ensure a smooth transition of the plant from the contractor to the Ghanaian government.
One of these was a condition survey of the equipment to ensure that it was maintained in line with the Original Equipment Standards over its operational life.
Mr Owireku Aidoo indicated that the government had decided to relocate the plant from Aboadze to Anwomaso in the Ashanti Region in order to improve the dependability of the power supply in the middle and northern sectors of the grid, as well as for export.
“Preparatory works for the proposed site are at an advanced stage and progressing on schedule,” he said.
He said the project would also help to extend Ghana’s gas pipeline network, which now ends in the Western Region.
He believes that the existence of natural gas in the region will encourage additional beneficial non-power applications of the region’s natural gas resources.
The Deputy Minister expressed his heartfelt gratitude, on behalf of the President, to all those whose hard work and dedication had brought the country this far. They include AMERI, Ministry of Energy staff, VRA and GRIDCo officials, as well as all who contributed in some way to bring the project to fruition.