The Africa Middle East Resources Investment of Energy (AMERI) has said it was not engaged by the Ministry of Energy during the review of its existing five-year contract with the government of Ghana.
[contextly_sidebar id=”5GSdwmtf3G6QbCQMjdaPzsMUemSyfKZp”]In a letter addressed to the Minister of Energy Boakye Agyarko, the company said it should not be considered part of the supposed amendment, adding that it will stick to the original $510 million contract.
“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,” it added.
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.
But AMERI in the letter said, “In view of the ongoing circumstance, management of Ameri Energy has taken notice of this and would like to inform you that we shall not be deemed associated with the novation and amendment agreement and will only remain committed to our original BOOT Agreement signed on 20th of February 2015. Upon completion of our five (5) years term, your ministry can freely decide to handover that project to any third party at a commercial arrangement you may deem right.”
It, however, served notice to the government that it was expecting its outstanding $82.6 million payment and further threatened that it would take legal actions against the government if it fails to pay the debt.
“Through this letter, we would like to serve you this a final notice of default of our outstanding payment of Eighty-two million, six hundred and sixty thousand, five hundred and sixty United States Dollars (USD 82,660,560.00) duly acknowledged by you through your memo presented to the Parliament dated 25th of July, 2018. In this respect, several notices have been duly served and received by your ministry, but no remedial action has been taken, we would like to draw your attention that in the option but to draw on the Standby Letter of Credit (SBLC) to recover party of our outstanding payments and adopt the legal remedy available to us.”
The then opposition NPP was critical of the deal, and the Energy Minister, Boakye Agarko, claimed that it was overpriced by 150 million dollars.
The NPP MP for Andasi-Asokwa, K.T.Hammond had earlier filed a motion for a rescission of the deal.
The Minority, however, staged a walkout when the Speaker forwarded the motion to have the deal rescinded in Parliament.
How calls for renegotiation started
The John Mahama administration in 2015 signed a contract with Africa and Middle East Resources Investment Group’s (AMERI Energy) to rent the 300MW of emergency power generator from AMERI at the peak of the country’s power crisis.
The power agreement with UAE-based AMERI Energy deal cost 510m.
But according to the government, it found that the country had been shortchanged by AMERI as they presented an overpriced budget, and were overpaid by $150 million.
The Akufo-Addo thus commenced a renegotiation process to ensure value for money.
We gave Ghana best deal; but gov’t can scrutinize – AMERI
The Africa & Middle East Resources Investment Group LLC (AMERI) has also stated that, its 2015 agreement with Ghana for the provision of a Power Plant in the heat of the country’s power crisis, offered the “best value for money” despite government findings that the $510 million deal was bloated by $150 million.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citinewsroom.com/Ghana