K.T. Hammond explains why he want AMERI Deal abrogated

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Former Deputy Energy Minister, Kobina Tahir Hammond is appealing to Parliament to rescind an agreement between government and the Africa & Middle East Resources Investment Group (Ameri Energy) for the provision of gas turbines in the country on the basis of misrepresentation by the latter.

According to K.T. Hammond, the deal has to be re-negotiated or abrogated on grounds of misrepresentation, after it emerged that Ghana was made to pay 150 million dollars extra in commission to Africa & Middle East Resources Investment Group LLC (Ameri Energy) for the construction of the power plant.

Addressing Members of the Energy Committee during a public hearing on Wednesday to ascertain the veracity of the Ameri deal, Mr Hammond said; “I beg to move that this House rescinds its aforementioned decision on terms that Ameri Energy re-engages with government to re-negotiate the said Agreement with a view to reaching terms that are agreeable and mutually beneficial to both parties.”

Ameri in its agreement with Government dated February 10th, 2015, charged Ghana significantly higher than what it was charged by the Turkish registered company – PPR, which financed and executed the project.

The Agreement, which was a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) between government of Ghana represented by the Ministry of Power and the Africa & Middle East Resources Investment Group (Ameri Energy) was for the provision of a 250megawatts fast track power generation solution by the installation of ten (10) GE TM 2,500 aero derivative gas turbines in Ghana on 10th February 2015.

The Turkish firm pegged the total cost of the project which is to span over a 5-year period at a maximum of 360 million dollars.

Chairman of Mines and Energy Committee, Emmanuel Akwasi Gyamfi, explained that the matter in question was referred to the Committee by the Speaker, to engage K.T.Hammond, whether there is merit to his case for the abrogation or renegotiation of the Ameri deal.

Background

In March 2015, Parliament approved the Ameri agreement with some obligations of the parties including delivering, installing and commissioning the ten GE TM 2,500 aero derivative gas turbines.

Other commitments also included operating, maintaining and repairing the equipment in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and prudent industry practice.

The government of Ghana was expected to provide an acceptable and suitable site for the installation, provide utilities, site for storage and office as well as a suitable site for the setting up of temporary accommodation facilities.

However, in the Build Operate Own Transfer (BOOT) agreement signed between Government and Ameri the deal was pegged at a minimum of 510 million dollars.

Mr. Hammond, who was a ranking member when the deal was signed told the Committee that about two years now, he has come by some critical information which he reckons would be a “game changer” to the whole deal.

He stated that if the committee had been aware of the matters contained in his documents, they would not have recommended to the House to approve the agreement in question.

Contrary to the representations made by Ameri Energy and the clear terms of the Agreement, the following have turned out to be untrue;

“Ameri Energy did not provide the fast track power generating equipment by themselves, Indeed after this House had approved the Agreement, Ameri Energy promptly assigned its rights, interests and obligations under the Agreement to an Affiliate called Ameri Energy Power Equipment Trading LLC (Ameri Equipment) on 6th May,2015.

The documentation available to me however, shows clearly that Ameri Equipment had just been set up by Ameri Group for the sole purpose of implementing the BOOT project. “

He also added that Power Project Sanayi(PPR) of Turkey,an independent company that Ameri assigned the project’s obligation’s to earned an overall fixed sum of 360 million dollars.

“And for doing basically nothing and taking on no financial risk,Ameri Energy made a whopping killing of 150 million dollars in one fell swoop at the expense of the poor tax payers of this country. Ameri Energy simply entered into the BOOT Agreement with Ghana and went on a profit shopping”.

The Committee is expected to meet with officials from the Ministry of Energy, Dr.Kwabena Donkor[ former Power Minister] and the Volta River Authority[VRA].

The deal was signed as an emergency power agreement on the 10th of February, 2015, between Government of Ghana represented by the Minister of Power and Ameri Energy, to help reduce the country’s power deficit at the time.

Source: Eugene Davis || BFT

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