VRA workers unhappy with AMERI Amendment Agreement
Workers of the Volta River Authority (VRA) have opposed the passing of the Novation and AMERI Amendment Agreement, saying that it will bring hardship to the authority.
“We the staff groups of VRA are vehemently opposed to the passing of the agreement because it will bring more hardship to the authority and the good people of our dear country, Ghana,” they said.
A press statement issued by the workers in Accra yesterday said they were marvelled at the manner in which the Minister of Energy rushed the bill to Parliament, pushing for its consideration and approval.
The statement was signed by the National Chairman of the Senior Staff Association (SSA) of VRA, Mr Cephas Duse, and the VRA Branch Chairman of the Public Service Workers Union (PSWU) of the TUC, Mr Frank Kaba Adatuu.
“In less than two and a half years, the AMERI plant will 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 will extend ownership to any third party’s interest,” it said.
It said the proposed new agreement before Parliament would be more expensive than the current arrangement, adding that it would 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,” it said.
The government is seeking approval from Parliament to review the BOOT agreement it entered into with and Middle East Resources Investment Group (AMERI Energy) on February 10, 2015.
A memorandum submitted to Parliament indicated that the new transaction had a waiver of $52.7 million due AMERI Energy that the government of Ghana would have had to pay.
Besides, it said, there would be a reduction in the standby letter of credit (SLC) from $51 million to $37.5 million and cost savings of $405.067 million over a period, while electricity tariffs on end users would be reduced.
A Deputy Minister of Energy, Mr William Owuraku Aidoo, laid the memorandum on Wednesday, July 25, requesting Parliament to approve the Novation and Ameri Amendment Agreement dated July 20, 2018.
It said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had given Executive approval for the agreement due to the gains to be made in favour of the country.
As part of measures to address power supply challenges, the government entered into a BOOT agreement with AMERI Energy on February 10, for the provision of a fast-track turn-key power generation solution through the construction of a power plant.
Under the agreement, AMERI Energy installed 10 gas turbines and all related equipment and provided certain services related to the operation and maintenance of the plant for a period of five years.
The first BOOT agreement was ratified by Parliament on March 20, 2015.