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22.05.2007 General News

TAQA is welcome but…

By myjoyonline

Government has maintained that it does not believe CMS Energy has transferred its interest in the Takoradi International Company that manages the Aboadze Thermal Plant.

Presidential spokesperson Andrew Awuni told Joy FM's Super Morning Show host, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah that government will therefore not recognize any purported sale of CMS's 90 percent equity to the Middle East oil company, TAQA.

Officials of TAQA on Monday visited the seat of government at the Osu Castle, where they held discussions with the government, led by President Kufuor.

According to the President's spokesperson, government spoke to TAQA only as a potential investor like any other business interest.

“TAQA is here as a business enterprise, as a private business investor that has come that has a track record, we know the track record and we are looking at the track record, we are examining it. And so TAQA on its own has the right to come into this country and seek to enter into any area and government will be prepared to listen to them and work with them.”

According to Awuni, even though TAQA's presence in the country was as a result of the 'so-called sale' of TICO, government was “not sure that the sale is complete and we will definitely get to the bottom of it.”

He said even if government had to enter into partnership with TAQA over the Aboadze Plant, “We have agreed that the agreement will be reviewed to the mutual benefit of both sides”.

Awuni maintained that government was still committed to taking its full shares (50 percent) as indicated in the original plan which were all agreed upon on Monday.

“We will get to the bottom of our relationship with CMS. In fact we are not looking at TAQA with the eyes of CMS at all, we are seeing TAQA as a separate entity and we will judge TAQA by its own merit and by its own track record in the area that it wants to enter in Ghana here as far as business is concerned.”

Awuni said government has not been happy and cannot be happy with the original contract signed during the reign of the National Democratic Congress government which stipulated that Ghana made a monthly payment of $3 million to CMS whether its energy was utilized or not and also allowed CMS to own 90 percent shares and do as it pleases.

“The government is certainly not happy with those issues and the present situation allows government to review all those positions and that is the good part of whatever has happened. So we are looking at TAQA, we are saying to TAQA if you are coming in to work as far as the Aboadze Plant is concerned we have to first review. Not just Aboadze plant but all the other areas and their leaders were quite broad minded about it and were prepared to enter into other areas.”

Mr. Awuni said President Kufuor made it clear that the government was prepared to deal with any company that would be committed to fair practices and would also treat their hosts with respect.