June 14, 2024
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Sunon Asogli reverts plant shut down after Finance Minister’s intervention

Independent power producer, Sunon Asogli Power (Ghana) Limited, has said it has suspended for one more week the decision to shut down its plant.

The company on Monday evening announced an indefinite shut down of its 560 Megawatts power plant due to the outstanding debt owed it by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

A statement issued on Monday, December 4, and signed by Qun Yang, Chairman of the company said, the shutdown started at 6:00 pm on Monday.

“This difficult decision became necessary due to avoidable delays in payment from the GOG/Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) for power supplied, as well as, the unproductive engagements to find an amicable solution” portions of the statement said.

The company said this was its last resort as “the accumulating bills have significantly impacted our operational capacities, making it unsustainable to continue without addressing these financial challenges” it noted.

But in another statement issued on the evening of the same Monday, December 4, the company said the shut down had been suspended due to an assurance by the Minister of Finance.

The statement said, “In view of the intervention and assurance from the Hon. Minister for Finance and Hon. Minister of State, we have resolved to suspend the plant shut down for one (1) week.”

Without giving further details about the exact assurances from the Minister of Finance, it noted in the statement that, “Kindly confirm our understanding that we shall be paid an interim sum of $60 million in two tranches. The first tranche $30 million to be paid this week, and the second tranche in the week of 11th December 2023.”

In recent times, Ghanaians have been experiencing intermittent power cuts, but power sector authorities have constantly given assurances that they are in control of the situation and that the country will not return to the dark days of severe power cuts known as ‘dumsor’.

Just around the time that Asogli shut down its 560 Megawatts power plant, some parts of the country had been taken off the national grid, indicating that the impact of this decision is being felt already.

Independent power producers have been going back and forth over the government’s indebtedness and its impact on their operations.

There have been several threats from them to shut down their plants if efforts are not made to clear the accumulating debts.

We can’t guarantee power generation always – Independent Power Generators

On Friday, December 1, the Independent Power Generators, Ghana, formerly the Ghana Chamber of Independent Power Producers cautioned the government against restructuring energy debts owed to them.

According to the power generators, it is practically impossible for the government to restructure energy debts, amounting to about $2.3 billion.

This is because the IPPs are highly indebted to their suppliers and banks.

Speaking at a public forum organised by Think Progress Ghana, the Chief Executive of the Chamber of Independent Power Generators, Ghana, Elikplim Apetorgbor said members of the association cannot accept any haircut since their suppliers and bankers are after them to settle their huge debt and loans.

As of November 30, 2023, the government owed the IPPS about $2.35 billion.

Below is the new statement from Asogli:

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