The sale of the majority stake in specified thermal plants owned by the Volta River Authority (VRA) is to realign the authority’s focus on solely the management of hydro plants, according to a Deputy Finance Minister, Kwaku Kwarteng.
Mr. Kwarteng noted that “over the years, we allowed the VRA to stray into the provision of energy through thermal plants.”
“The long and short of it is that we want the VRA to focus on what it is best at doing; management of the hydro plants. That is what traditionally they have been good at,” he explained on Eyewitness News.
This policy direction was announced by the Finance Minister in the 2017 budget in Parliament and the advertised the sale of at least a majority stake in specified thermal plants owned by the VRA formed part of the “implementation of a policy that has been announced in a budget statement and that has been approved by Parliament,” Mr. Kwarteng said.
The government had decided that the VRA was not doing a good enough job with the management of the thermal plants, hence the recent move that has upset some workers of the VRA.
“The management of these thermal assets by VRA has not been as we would have wanted it and most of these plants are indebted and if you look at the energy sector indebtedness, nobody can say, as a country, we have managed these thermal assets as well as we should have. Therefore, this policy intervention is to address this.”
With the $2.4 million bond to tackle the energy sector, limiting the constraints brought on by the management of the thermal pants would also ensure Ghana doesn’t have to borrow again to offset debts, the Minister pointed out.
“This decision is part of a comprehensive arrangement to deal with the energy sector indebtedness and energy sector mismanagement to ensure that dumsor and the problems associated with energy delivery are consigned to history.”