The Minority in Parliament has raised issues with the terms of a gas sales agreement between the Ghana government and West Africa Gas Limited (BVI).Follow @Graphicgh
The agreement is for the delivery of gas in Tema to run selected thermal power plants within the Tema enclave for 10 years.
The issues were raised last Wednesday when the Joint Committee on Finance and Mines and Energy presented its report to the House for debate and approval.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Bekwai, Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, who led the onslaught, said the agreement would make Ghanaians buy gas at over two times the world market price.
Besides, he said, the agreement tied Ghana to the company for 10 years and also provided a formula which was not clear.
Mr Osei-Owusu said if Ghana signed the agreement, the cost of fuel to power the country's plants would be more expensive than it was, adding that that would translate into extra rates for power users.
Explanations concerning the pricing and the formula given by the Chairman of the Committee on Mines and Energy, Alhaji Amadu Sorogho, did not convince the Minority.
Approval of the report was deferred because Parliament did not have sufficient numbers to approve it.
The project includes the building of a floating storage re-gasification unit for the processing of the liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Under the agreement, the contract price in respect of each contract year shall be the sum of the costs of LNG delivered and that of re-gasification.
The report said the joint committee was of the view that the supply of gas under the agreement would significantly contribute towards ensuring a stable and reliable power supply to support the socio-economic development of the country.
The committee, therefore, recommended to the House to approve the agreement.
Explaining the Minority’s position further in an interview with the Daily Graphic, Mr Osei-Owusu said every organisation that used power to produce items was complaining that the cost was too high.
"For households, there is nobody who is not complaining about the bills he/she is receiving from the Electricity Company of Ghana, and when it gets to industrial, it is even murky," he said.
He said it was important not to compound the problem "by buying or agreeing in holding ourselves hostage to a company that will be supplying for a period that is volatile in terms of costing”.
"The energy prices keep fluctuating. So if we have an opportunity when it is down now, we should tie ourselves to the current international rate," he said.