A former Deputy Power Minister, John Jinapor, is urging the Power Distribution Services (PDS) to promptly pay off its debt owed the Independent Power Producers to forestall any disruptions in power supply.
PDS has denied owing the power producers, claiming that the debts were accrued by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).
But John Jinapor who is challenging that position said the power producers are collectively owed over $2 billion of new debt accumulated from the sale of power by PDS.
“It is in the interest of PDS to ensure that the IPPs are paid because if the IPPs pull of and the power generators do not supply power, PDS will have nothing to sell. So to attempt to wash their hands off and claim that they have nothing to do with the IPPs and that they have paid ECG is inaccurate. I’m challenging PDS, they should tell us the total invoice raised for them and how much they have actually paid to ECG, Mr. Jinapor said.
Six IPPs last week said PDS owes them over $700 million and they will be forced to shut down their plants that supply the country 1,500 megawatts of electricity if the payments are not made.
While acknowledging the negative impact a shutdown of power plants will have, the IPPs said they are left with no choice since they cannot continue to be saddled with huge debts.
According to them, as at the time the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) was taken over by PDS, they were owed over $400 million.
They said ever since PDS took over, it has not paid them a dime, resulting in accumulation of another debt of over $300 million, bringing the total debt to over $700 million.
The companies – Sunon-Asogli Power (Ghana) Limited, BXC Solar Ghana, Cenit Energy Limited, Cenpower Generation Company Limited and Karpowership Ghana Company Limited – are members of the Chamber of Independent Power Producers and Bulk Consumers (CIPDIB).
Meanwhile, the Energy Minister, John Peter Amewu has been directed by the government to engage the six Independent Power Producers (IPPs) threatening to shut down their plants over debts owed them.
The Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah on the Citi Breakfast Show said the government has asked Amewu to immediately meet with the managers of PDS and the IPPs to find a way around the issue.
Energy Ministry was instructed to quickly re-engage with PDS and the sector players to understand the nature of the constraint and to quickly move to resolve that complaint, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah said in a Citi News interview.