Sunon Asogli makes U-Turn on plant shutdown

Source The Ghana Report

Sunon Asogli Power (Ghana) Limited has suspended the shutdown of its plant for one week, as announced earlier.

The independent power producer called off the indefinite shutdown of the plant due to the intervention and assurance from the Minister of Finance and a Minister of State to settle unpaid invoices.

“Kindly confirm our understanding that we shall be paid an interim sum of $60 million in two tranches. The first tranche is $30 million to be paid this week and the second tranche in the week of 11th December 2023”, a statement issued by the management of Sunon Asogli Power (Ghana) Limited dated December 4, 2023, stated.

The independent power producer announced on Monday, December 4, 2023, the indefinite shutdown of its 560 MW plant, thus suspending its operations with immediate effect.

The company said the decision was made because of the government’s delay in honouring its financial obligations to the management of the power plant.

The company, in a letter addressed to ECG, reads: “Sunon Asogli Power (Ghana) Limited Company announces with regret an indefinite suspension of operations at the Sunon Asogli Power Plant, effective Monday, 4th December 2023 at 6 PM. This difficult decision became necessary due to avoidable delays in payment from the GoG/Electricity Company of Ghana for power supplied, as well as, the unproductive engagements to find an amicable solution” to the indebtedness.

The company complained that the accumulating unpaid bills have significantly impacted its operational capacity, making it unsustainable to continue without addressing these financial challenges.

Independent Power Producers (IPPs) have over the years complained about the government’s indebtedness to them. However, several efforts, including threats to suspend operations, have not yielded any substantial results.

As of July 2023, there were reports that the government’s debt to the IPPs had hit about $1.6 billion.

The IPPs had described the recent 1.52 percent reduction in electricity tariff announced by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) as unacceptable.

The IPPs said the reduction would affect ECG’s debt restructuring efforts.

The President of the IPPs, Dr. Elikplim Apetorgbor, said the ECG will struggle to pay its debt.

He further indicated “We are on life support and cannot guarantee continuity. If you give us a haircut, say a 30% or 40% reduction, who is going to pay our debts for us?”

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