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04.04.2007 General News

Deputy Energy Minister defends Kufuor’s claims on CMS sale

By myjoyonline

Deputy Energy Minister K.T. Hammond says CMS Energy, majority shareholders of the Takoradi International Company (TICO) cannot be right about their claims on the state of the company's shares.

Mr. K. T. Hammond has consequently dismissed suggestions that President Kufuor was not very well informed of the issues regarding the supposed transaction involving TICO.
CMS Energy, a US based company has a 90 percent stake in TICO, which operates two of the units that generate power at the Aboadze Thermal Plant whilst government owns the remaining 10 percent with an option to increase it to 50.

But at a meeting with the CMS boss Tom Edwards at the Castle on Monday, President Kufuor expressed reservations about the sale of the 90 percent stake of the majority shareholder to TAQA, a company based in the Middle East without government's knowledge.

President Kufuor was unhappy about the development and warned that the deal would not be recognized if CMS did not regularize the sale.

The Corporate Affairs Manager at CMS Energy, Osafo Adjei denied that the company had been sold and suggested the President may not be on top of the issue.

But Mr. Hammond told Joy News on Wednesday that the company has admitted wrongdoing and so a process to straighten matters has already been set in motion with a meeting on Tuesday to be followed up with another on Wednesday.

He said the agreement between CMS and the Government of Ghana expressly determined that government is to be given prior notification even in the case of an intent to offload the TICO shares, and with the plant being a strategic national asset, the sale of the company should be handled carefully so as not to be inimical to the interest of the state.

Mr. Hammond said while government had no idea about the intention of CMS to offload their interest, it came to its notice only after the discussions with TAQA had begun.

“We've gotten to know that they were doing something which was wrong and that their attention has been drawn to by the President that they couldn't do that. The Clause 6 in it (Contract) …clearly says 'any purported action to sell or attempt to sell anything is clearly of no validity… That has been brought to their attention, their president agrees maybe they are wrong, now they are going to do the right thing.”

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