Government Auctions VRA Thermal Plants
| Updated Aug 25, 2017 at 2:00pm
The sale of the majority stake in specified thermal plants owned by the Volta River Authority (VRA) is to realign the authority’s focus on solely the management of hydro plants, that’s according to a Deputy Finance Minister, Kwaku Kwarteng.
Mr. Kwarteng noted that “over the years, we allowed the VRA to stray into the provision of energy through thermal plants.”
“The long and short of it is that we want the VRA to focus on what it is best at doing; management of the hydro plants. That is what traditionally they have been good at,” he explained on an Accra based FM current Affairs Program, “Eyewitness News”.
This policy direction was announced by the Finance Minister in the 2017 budget in Parliament and advertised the sale of at least a majority stake in specified thermal plants owned by the VRA formed part of the “implementation of a policy that has been announced in a budget statement and that has been approved by Parliament,” Mr. Kwarteng said.
Government said the VRA was not doing a good enough job with the management of the thermal plants, hence the decision to sell it off.
“The management of these thermal assets by VRA has not been as we would have wanted it and most of these plants are indebted and if you look at the energy sector indebtedness, nobody can say, as a country, we have managed these thermal assets as well as we should have. Therefore, this policy intervention is to address this.”
With the $2.4 million bond to tackle the energy sector, limiting the constraints brought on by the management of the thermal pants would also ensure Ghana doesn’t have to borrow again to offset debts, the Minister pointed out.
“This decision is part of a comprehensive arrangement to deal with the energy sector indebtedness and energy sector mismanagement to ensure that dumsor and the problems associated with energy delivery are consigned to history.”
Meanwhile, some workers at the Volta River Authority (VRA) are furious over government’s decision to sell off the Authority’s thermal plants.
They say they will do everything possible to resist the sale of the plants and other company assets.
Government advertised the sale of at least a majority stake in specified thermal plants owned by the VRA.
The advertisement, which was placed in the Daily Graphic indicated that the sale forms “part of government’s efforts to restructure the energy sector.”
“As part of government’s efforts to restructure the energy sector and optimizing the operational efficiency of the power SOEs, a number of policy measures are being explored. Key among these measures is government’s consideration that separating VRA’s thermal operations from its hydro operations will improve their ability to favorably compete with other power generating companies significantly and return it to profitability,” the advert said.