More IPPs Coming � Mahama

President John Mahama has announced that his administration will bring in more companies to generate power in the country.

“More Independent Power Producers (IPPs) are coming in and before they sign any agreement, they ask you to put down Letter of Credit (LC) and the moment you don’t pay them they draw down on the LC. And you have to top up the LC back to what it was.

“So it means we must be collecting enough money at the distribution level to be able to pay power producers. When the power producer was our good old VRA, it would not put off our lights….But when an IPP sets up its plant and you don’t pay, it will take it from the Letter of Credit,” he told journalists in Accra.

The President urged prompt payment of electricity bills “so that when people don’t pay, we disconnect them.”

“We must improve efficiency at the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) level. The worst crime is those who steal power. Power loss due to distribution should be below 15 percent. It is estimated that we lose more than 25 percent in distribution. If this happens we cannot collect money to pay the upstream companies. That is why we need to restructure ECG under the MCC compact. It is targeted at restructuring ECG. “

“And let me state emphatically that ECG is not being privatized. It is going to be a public owned company. It will be the owner of the equipment and logistics. Transformers and things are going to belong to ECG.

“We are going to put in a system that will allow more people from the private sector to operate alongside ECG. These people will end up employing more people than ECG will employ. “We will put in a system that will allow private sector to do collections. ECG will continue to exist, and we are going to inject more than GHC100 million into ECG.”

He disclosed that the CEO of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation and Quantum Gas are currently in Qatar to arrange for a floating storage regassification unit (FSRU).

“It’s a floating barge that brings you liquid natural gas which regasses it and supplies power that to the barge. We need to have that as assurance, so that if anything happens to our own plants, we won’t have to shut down, ” he remarked.