Electricity Producers Can’t Stop Production Over Gov’t Debt – Expert

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Energy expert Kojo Poku says Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in the Republic of Ghana cannot halt production due to government’s indebtedness to them.

According to him, shutting down will mean terminating their agreement with government.

His argument followed a statement issued by the Chamber for Independent Power Producers, Distributors and Bulk Consumers in the West African country in which they gave government a 7-day ultimatum to settle its debts to power producers in the country.

They threatened to completely shut down should the Power Distribution Services fail to pay its estimated 300 million dollars to them.

But speaking on TV3’s The Key Points programme on Saturday, Mr Opoku said because the IPPs have a bond with government, they must adhere to it, stating the IPPs cannot just issue threats.

“…But what I’m trying to add to the matter is that if somebody goes out there and issues these things that in eight days we will pull the plug, it is not that easy, you cannot pull the plug, you cannot do that.

“To pull the plugs and shut your machines down, do you know what it means? Every IPP has a bond, that bond is given to you that in failure of government paying you, call on the bond.

“When you call on the bond, what it means is that you are shutting down and leaving the country and terminating your PPA, so if you come out with some of those things, you cannot threaten your employer,” he explained.

Mr. Poku also said the Chamber for Independent Power Producers, Distributors and Bulk Consumers does not have the power to represent any power producer in the country.

“Let’s address this chamber thing, they do not represent anyone, I put it on record, they don’t represent anyone. The gentleman works for Asogli, all the numbers he has, he called ECG pretending he was not from Asogli and they gave him the numbers.

“…When I get these things at six o’clock in the morning and I call the people involved, and everybody tells me Kojo, there has been no meeting, we have not told anybody to go and issue threats to government.”

Speaking on the issue of indebtedness, Mr. Poku said the PDS does not owe the IPPs any money.

“…From 1st March going forward, the Ministry of Finance, the government through the Ministry of Finance…all the debt that existed in the energy sector. So, PDS took a clean slate. There was no indebtedness,” he explained.

He noted that the figures put out by the Chamber for Independent Power Producers, Distributors and Bulk Consumers as money owed the IPPs is not accurate.

“The numbers are being brought about by somebody just bringing about numbers, it is definitely not true.”

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