Senior staff of the Volta River Authority (VRA) have declared their opposition to the new arrangement on the AMERI power deal which is currently before Parliament.
The Senior Staff Association and the Public Services Workers Union at the VRA have said the new deal “will bring more hardship to the good people of our dear country- Ghana.”
Under the new agreement, a new company, Mytilineous International Trading Company, will take over the management of the AMERI power plant for 15 years.
The new company has offered to pay AMERI an amount of $52,160,560, with the government paying the remaining $39 million to the Dubai-based AMERI Energy to wash its hands off the deal entirely.
The agreement covering the new deal was laid before Parliament on Thursday for approval.
But the staff contend that Ghana had just under three years left to assume control of the plant under the old deal.
“In less than two and half years the AMERI plant would become a free asset to the nation under the Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) arrangement, and therefore there is no need for another arrangement that would extend ownership to any other third party interest,” the workers argued in a statement.
“The proposed new agreement before Parliament would be more expensive than the current arrangement and does not make any financial and economic sense to the nation. The nation has surplus generation capacity and does not require any new long-term take or pay arrangement, more so when it is inimical to the interest of the nation.”
The John Mahama administration in 2015 signed a contract with Africa and Middle East Resources Investment Group (AMERI) Energy, to rent the 300MW of emergency power from AMERI.
This was at the peak of the country’s power crisis.
The power agreement with UAE-based AMERI Energy deal cost $510 million.
But according to the NPP administration, it found out that the government had been shortchanged by AMERI as they presented an overpriced budget, and were overpaid by $150 million.
The new administration thus commenced a renegotiation process to ensure value for money.
This latest deal is what it views as a better option for the country.
But observers have called it a huge misstep.
The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) wants Parliament to reject the renegotiated AMERI deal.
“We are committing to pay $50m for 15 years which is not on for the Ghanaian public and I hope Parliament will protect the public by rejecting the AMERI amendment,” Executive Director of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Ben Boakye stated.
The Institute of Energy Security (IES) has also said the country risks paying more when the deal is agreed upon, in its current form.