The Energy Ministry has challenged claims by AMERI Energy that it was not involved in discussions about the revised power deal.
According to the Ministry, AMERI was aware of the new deal and authorized an individual to represent the company in consenting to the revised arrangement.
The Spokesperson for the ministry, Nana Damoah, in an interview said it had in its possession a letter in which AMERI gave an individual the authority to assent to the new deal.
AMERI Energy, in a letter, indicated that it was not aware of the new power deal that was going to see a new company take over the deal and pay off AMERI.
“We have recently been following the news circulating in the media about the Novation of Ameri BOOT Agreement. For purposes of the said novation, we were given an impression by the new party that all the permits, permissions and requisite approvals from the stakeholders (ie. Ministry of Finance, Attorney General’s Office, VRA, PURC) have been obtained before presenting this amended draft to the cabinet and the President for approval,” it said.
“As you are fully aware, we have never been involved with your ministry in any kind of negotiations or discussions related to this Novation and Amendment Agreement. Moreover, also never had insight of any commercial discussion between you and the new party, therefore could not have verified that the above permissions were not obtained at the time of presentation before the Parliament,” the letter stated..
But according to Nana Damoah, the Ministry has cause to doubt the authenticity of the letter since it did not receive the said communication but rather, a letter from AMERI appointing someone to represent it in approving the new plan.
“We have received no such letter [of denial]…. We are [rather] in a possession of a letter of authorization that AMERI Energy gave to an individual to initiate the agreement. So if indeed AMERI did author that letter [of denial], then that position is a direct contradiction of what they have authored earlier and so we have enough grounds to question the authenticity of the document that is making the rounds. The letter of authorization gave permission to an individual to sign the agreement which was presented to Parliament. What this meant was that they are in agreement to the terms of the deal that was laid before Parliament,” he said.
The Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko in July, laid a revised AMERI agreement before Parliament for approval after an executive order.
The Minority in Parliament kicked against the new deal which it believed was economically disadvantageous for the country as Ghana would be paying more under the agreement.
The Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP) and some analysts have said the amended deal with the new company, Mytilineous, will cost the country in excess of $1 billion if it comes into force.
The original contract with AMERI was to end in about 36 months after which Ghana will own the power barges, but the new deal pushed the ownership period to 15 years, with the yearly payments at a cost marginally lower than the original deal.
Also, under the new agreement, critics say, the current tariff of 10.4 cents charged on power produced will increase to 11.7 cents for the same amount of power produced within the 15-year period, possibly translating into a higher cost of electricity for the consumer.