JoyNews is learning government has reached a tentative payment plan with the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo) to settle the State’s $20 million indebtedness.
WAPCO had shut gas supply required for power generation, plunging parts of the country into darkness as the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) announced a supply gap of 550MW at peak time.
According to JoyNews sources, although an agreement has been reached, some outages are expected to happen since the agreement does not guarantee that there will be gas from Takoradi to Tema in the immediate.
Meanwhile, the Minority in Parliament has urged the government to settle its debts to avert plunging the country into an energy crisis. A member of the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, Edward Bawa has suggested government comes to some arrangement with WAPCo to solve the issue. “Government must find a way or make an arrangement with WAPCo as to how that can be paid. If WAPCO begins to have some comfort that government has kept in touch to do the payment, then, I believe that it will work. “Government must be working to see how they can give WAPCo some level of comfort to continue transmitting gas from Obuasi to Tema or else we are going to be in trouble. If the gas does not come, what it simply means is that the plants cannot run because they use fuel. And if they cannot run, you’d have that ‘dumsor’,’” he suggested.
He explained why WAPCo has decided to cut the gas supply due to this debt.
According to him, WAPCo has not been paid since January 2023, which has led to the accumulation of bills. “Now the question you would ask is whose liability is it? It is true that if you look at ECG, they do not have a healthy access or guarantee to be able to always go into arrangements with power or gas utilities so GNPC stood in as a guarantee for ECG.
“So ECG has to pay WAPCo but unfortunately because for almost 13 months now the cash waterfall mechanism where all the monies that ECG collects after selling power is put for it to be distributed among the utility mechanism is no longer working, ECG is unable to pay the liability,” he explained.
Source: Emma Ankrah