Ameri deal relaid in Parliament

Energy Minister, John Peter Amewu has laid a renegotiated and enhanced terms of the Build Operate Own and Transfer (B.O.O.T) between government of Ghana and Africa and Middle East Resources Investment Group Llc(Ameri Energy) for installation of ten(10) GE TM 2500aero derivative gas turbines, operate, maintain, transfer and provision of support services dated 10th February 2015.

The Minister who was in the House to personally lay the renegotiated deal is hopeful the legislature will expedite work on it for subsequent presidential assent.

First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu has referred it to the Mines and Energy as well as the Finance Committees of parliament to begin work on it.

The original deal was expected to come to an end in 2020, but the revised deal has extended the lifetime of the agreement to 15 years – in which then minister,[Boakye Agyarko] acting on behalf of government, negotiated downward the cost of power charged under the old deal; as well as a number of terms culminating in savings in excess of US$405million over the period.

According to the minister’s memo to Parliament sighted by the B&FT, Mytilineos International Trading Company will pay some US$52.16million owed to Ameri by government – an arrangement that was arrived at during the renegotiation.

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Mytilineos, Mr. Agyarko said, will supervise continuance of the plant’s operation and maintenance for 15 years – during which it will be responsible for the provision of operation and maintenance services, as well as all related services.

Under the new agreement, the tariff has been reduced from the existing US cents 14.5918 per kWh to US cents 11.7125 per kWh – a reduction of US cents 2.8793 per kWh.

In spite of the new arrangement, there was resistance to the new deal, with senior staff of Volta River Authority indicating that they it will bring “more hardships” to Ghanaians, other civil society organisations as well as the minority in parliament all objected to it.

This subsequently led to the dismissal of then Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, sometime in August.

Agyarko sacked

The dismisal of Mr. Agyarko comes after the President was allegedly misled into approving the new AMERI deal which had been rejected by Parliament through an Executive Order.

The novation and amendment agreement was seeking to buy out the deal Ameri Energy had with the government of Ghana under President John Mahama and handed over to a third party Mytilineos for 15 years. Ghana would have ended up paying over Ghc1 billion under the new arrangement.

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The joint committee on Finance and Energy of Parliament rejected the new deal because it had no signatures from the Attorney General and Finance minister.

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