Executives of the Senior Staff Association of the Volta River Authority (VRA) have stormed Parliament demanding an abrogation of the Africa & Middle East Resource Investment (AMERI) deal.
The workers who took their seat in the public gallery, believe the deal is not good enough for the country and should be discontinued.
Joy News’ Joseph Opoku Gakpo who was in Parliament reports that the executives led by their Chairman Cephas Duse as saying the Ameri deal “stinks” and they are in the House to “drum home that point.”
The workers have concerns that some properties belonging to the VRA including lands will be handed over to AMERI as they implement the contract and that for them is not good enough.
They told Jospeh they have lobbied some Members of Parliament to shoot down the deal when the issue is raised on the floor.
The executives have already embarked on a series of protests to prevent government from ceding its assets – T3 plant in the Aboadze thermal enclave, MRP at the Tema Thermal Power Station and a parcel of land at the Kpone Thermal Power Station – to external parties including operators of AMERI.
They believe a deal for AMERI to undertake retrofit and ancillary work on T3 will result in the eventual take over of the plant, a situation they are against.
They are surprised that a nation that has invested about $256 million in such a project would decide to hand it over to an entity to fix and run and pay capacity charges which would end up being a burden on the tax payer and the consumer.
They want the plant to be left in the care of VRA and government must not cede VRA’s asset to private entities.
Government, in their view should rather assist VRA fix the plant with funds from the various energy and power sector levies and save Ghana from another financially draining power deal which would put a stress on consumers.
The AMERI power plant began full operations in February last year, amidst many controversies.
The plant was to provide an additional 250 megawatts of power to the national grid. The power plant has 10 units and five transformers with each unit having the capacity to generate 24MW.
The plant would rely on supply of natural gas from the Atuabo gas processing plant for generation of power, and government is to pay $9.9 million monthly even if the gas processing plant is unable to feed it with gas.