ECG going, as MiDA accepts two bids

Barring any hitches, the Electricity Company of Ghana will be handed over to a private entity by last quarter – as part of the conditions under which government accepted the under-US$500million Millennium Challenge Compact Two from the United States of America.

The Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) announced on Monday when it closed the submission of proposals that it had received proposals from two companies – BXC Ghana and Manila Electric Company (Meralco).

The statement said the proposals presented by the two companies will be submitted to an independent evaluation panel composed of local and international experts, who are expected to complete evaluation of the proposals by mid-April 2018.

The announcement means that one of the bidders – a consortium made up of French transnational Veolia and partners – could not submit its proposal and is effectively out of the running. The consortium had railed against government’s decision to give 51 percent of the concession arrangement to local investors.

Veolia has been embroiled in a feud with the government of Gabon, which has seized assets of the water, waste management and energy group – accusing it of widespread pollution.

Last week, a civil society organisation – the Coalition of Stakeholders on the ECG Concession Arrangement (COSECA) – expressed a number of concerns over MiDA’s selection process.

The group said it is troubled by MiDA’s assessment and vetting process, saying: “There have been instances when MiDA has shifted goal posts, amended dates and requirements and sought to bend the rules on the insistance of some players”.

Group Convenor Richard Nyamah said: “Our main concern, therefore, is to ask whether MiDA can confirm and assure the nation that this Compact is on course and will not suffer hiccups and possible reversal. We also need its assurance that it will conduct the assessment of bidders in a most stringent and transparent way to ensure we have the best”.

Project so far

Other milestones to be reached in the process by September 6, 2018 are: Negotiations with the Preferred Bidder, Cabinet Review and Recommendation of the Concession Agreement, and Parliamentary Ratification of the Concession Agreement.

The ECG Private Sector Participation Activity is one of five Activities under the ECG Financial and Operational Turnaround Project of the Ghana Power Compact Programme.

The MCC II, which is expected to restructure the operations of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) under private management and put it on the path of profitability, is expected to see the US government invest a little under US$500million into enhancing the power sector’s efficiency.