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07.05.2007 General News

Govern moves to own Aboadze Thermal Plant

By myjoyonline

The government is to take over the entire 100 percent shares of the Aboadze Thermal Plant.

A statement issued in Accra and signed by Government Spokesman on Finance and Economy, Kwaku Kwarteng, said the decision became necessary due to the manner in which CMS Energy, co-partners in the plant, had sought to sell its shares in the Takoradi International Company (TICO), operators of the plant, to TAQA, a Middle East based company, without informing the government.

"If that transaction had gone through, government would have been forced to partner an unknown company," it said and described that move as improper.

The statement said if TAQA had succeeded in buying the shares, it would have later sold them back to Ghana, adding that the consideration of such a scenario would have been different from those of Ghana buying the shares directly from CMS.

“We have advised CMS to hive off the Takoradi plant from their take-over discussions with TAQA” it said.

"Given that electricity makes a critical and strategic input into our economy, we view these matters with utmost seriousness," it said, adding that government had been compelled to seek purchase of the entire 100 per cent of the shares in the Aboadze Plant, and "we are taking steps to make that happen."

President J.A. Kufuor last month criticised CMS Energy for breach of the contract between it and the government.

Speaking at a meeting with CMS Energy Management at the Castle, he said that since Ghana had 10 percent shares in TICO with an option to buy a further 40 percent, it was appropriate for CMS to have consulted government before disposing of its shares.

President Kufuor described the company as "a partner who has taken the people of Ghana for granted", and emphasised that government would not allow that to happen."

He gave the indication that government would have nothing to do with TAQA unless the right thing was done.

The Aboadze Thermal plant was built by the Volta River Authority (VRA) and started operation in 1997.

The aim was for the plant to compliment the electricity supply from the Akosombo and the Kpong Dams.

The current installed capacity of the plant is 550 ¬megawatt volts (mv) and it is expected to be upgraded to 66mv.

The Takoradi International Company (TICO) was formed by VRA and CMS Energy to operate the plant to achieve that target.