Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, a former Energy Minister has called for calm as the government prepares to investigate circumstances leading to the award of a judgment debt against the Government of Ghana in connection with its power purchase agreement with the Ghana Power Generation Company (GPGC).
His comment comes on the back of the rejection by the commercial court in London of a late appeal from Ghana against a judgment debt award of US$134 million in favour of the power contractor, Ghana Power Generation Company (GPGC).
The former Energy Minister said he is completely heartbroken that attempts by the erstwhile NDC administration to solve the power crisis during its tenure have resulted in a judgement debt.
“As a former Deputy Energy Minister and former Energy and Petroleum Minister, I am completely heartbroken that all our hard work and singular focus to address our power challenges and ensure a stable electricity supply is being marred by a decision for a US$170 million judgement debt, which was imposed by a London commercial tribunal on behalf of Ghana Power Generation Company (GPGC) for wrongful termination of the contract,” he posted on Facebook.
Armah-Kofi Buah added, “How did this come about? The GPGC emergency power agreement was signed in July 2015, it had a cabinet and parliamentary approval. The termination of the agreement leading to the tribunal award took place in 2018 under the current government. This was after Ghana’s failure to properly defend the case in court.”
The Ellembele MP however wants the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to tread cautiously in resolving the matter to help the country learn lessons from the development.
“I have heard the Attorney General’s hasty threats of investigation and prosecution. It is important to fairly study the events leading to the termination and how as a country we defended this case in court. This will allow us as a country to lay the responsibility where it belongs and learn clear lessons from this.”
The International Court of Arbitration in January 2021 awarded costs of US$134 million and interest of US$30 million against the Government of Ghana over its cancellation of an emergency power agreement with GPGC Ltd.
The contract was cancelled during the tenure of the former Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko, one of several deals scrapped by the new NPP government on the basis that the country did not need these power agreements.
The ruling by the International Court of Arbitration ordered the Government to Ghana to pay to “GPGC the full value of the early termination payment, together with mobilisation, demobilisation and preservation and maintenance costs in the amount of US$134,348,661, together also with interest thereon from 12 November 2018 until the date of payment, accruing daily and compounded monthly, at the rate of LIBOR for six-month US dollar deposits plus 6%”.
The Government of Ghana was also ordered to pay GPGC, in total, “US$ 309,877.74 in respect of the costs of the arbitration, together with US$3,000,000 in respect of GPGC’s legal representation and the fees and expenses of its expert witness, together with interest on the aggregate amount of US$3,309,877.74 at the rate of LIBOR for three-month US dollar deposits, compounded quarterly”.
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