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07.06.2017 Business & Finance

Minister reiterates government's Ghana Compact II programme

GNA
Business Minister reiterates government's Ghana Compact II programme
JUN 7, 2017 BUSINESS & FINANCE

Accra, June 07, GNA - Mr Boakye Agyarko, Minister of Energy has reiterated government's commitment towards the Ghana Millennium Challenge Compact II programme, particularly with regard to the Private Sector Participation in the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

He said: 'Despite the challenges that arose as a result of differences between stakeholders, particularly between labour, ECG and the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), I wish to note that we are making good progress as the stakeholders make efforts to address their differences.'

'We have recently held the Bidders' Conference to pave way for the shortlisted companies to submit detailed proposals for the concession'.

Speaking in Accra at the luncheon of the American Chamber of Commerce (Ghana), Mr Boakye Agyarko said the stakeholder deliberations would continue to ensure the smooth implementation of the programme.

The American Chamber of Commerce (Ghana) is a voluntary association of professional and business people, working to create an environment where businesses could thrive between Ghanaian and American communities.

On the Renewable Energy front, he said the Ministry of Energy was looking at increasing the penetration in the energy mix from the current one per cent to about 10 per cent by the year 2030.

He explained that the aggressive target called for corresponding aggressive and sustainable measures for its achievement.

'Government will therefore, encourage increased private sector investment in utility scale solar and wind energy projects, as well as accelerate the development of mini-grid solutions in off-grid and island communities for lighting, irrigation and other economic activities,' the Minister said.

On Stable Power Supply, Mr Boakye Agyarko said it had been established that the challenges that the nation has had with power supply in the past were substantially financial.

'For that matter, we are taking urgent measures to fix the financial challenge. Government has initiated steps to issue a bond to deal with the legacy debt of about $ 2.4 billion in the Energy Sector,' he said.

'The idea is to reset the books of the sector agencies in order to allow them carry out their operations smoothly, whilst putting in measures to ensure that the debts do not reoccur.'

He cited a number of interventions to address the power sector challenges, such as improvement on transparency in tariff setting, and introduction of a new tariff policy that would reclassify consumer categories in order to protect lifeline and strategic industrial consumers.

Others are; reduction in some of the levies and taxes on the tariffs and the review of Power Purchase Agreements entered into by the previous government in order to prioritise, re-negotiate, defer or cancel outright, if necessary.

Mr Boagye Agyarko said achieving reliable and stable power supply means that efforts must be made to address challenges and also bring about improvements in the entire value chain.

In dealing with power generation issues, he said several expansion and system improvement projects relating to transmission and distribution was ongoing.

'We are also promoting energy efficiency initiatives to address Demand-side Management issues.'

The Minister mentioned that the specific policy actions of the Ministry would be to periodically review the Renewable Energy Act to reflect changing trends in the industry.

Others are the establishment of a Renewable Energy Authority to oversee, execute and manage state renewable energy initiatives and the creation of a centre for the training of technicians in renewable energy installations, operation and maintenance.

The rest are promotion of the distribution of solar power for government and public buildings through net metering and encouraging power consumers to invest in renewable energy to meet a portion of their energy requirements.

'Under my leadership, I will ensure that the necessary enabling environment would be created to partner the private sector for the development of Ghana's energy sector," he stated.

GNA

By Iddi Yire, GNA

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