IPGG Urges VRA to Stop Selling 200MW Power to Neighbors Due to High Tariffs Burdening Ghanaians

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The Chamber of Independent Power Generators, Ghana (IPGG), has reiterated its criticism of the Volta River Authority (VRA), demanding an immediate cessation of the provision of 200 megawatts of electricity to neighboring nations. It alleges that the VRA is selling electricity to these countries at half the rate paid by consumers (both individuals and businesses) in Ghana.

“We are currently in crisis, Ghanaians are sleeping in darkness, companies cannot operate with a guaranteed power supply, there is a shortage in supply, etc. making the available cheap hydro generation to Ghanaians. The taxpayer, is supreme and must be of prime consideration, irrespective of your survival concerns”, it noted in a statement signed by its Chief Executive Officer, Elikplim Kwabla Apetorgbor.

“Why should jurisdictions that contribute nothing to Ghana’s economy be prospering on a cheap resource? Ghanaians are paying very high tariffs, averaging 14 cents/kWh particularly at peak time, while those neighbouring countries enjoy about half of the tariff. This is not fair to the Ghanaian”, it explained.

Furthermore, it said “Energy Commission will be seen as biased to other participants in the sector, if this export is not stopped immediately for the benefit of the Ghanaian taxpayers. We are aware of situations in the recent past where load shedding is high and at the same time over 200 MW [megawatts] of generation capacity is being exported”.

It stressed that the “VRA traditionally performed the role of exports and particularly important at a time where Ghana had excess power. However, in recent times where the market is unbundled with the various forms of reforms and regulations, it expected that one’s allegiance will first be with his home country. Why do we see the contrary, especially in his challenging times”?

These reforms have led to the establishment of a more organized regulatory framework, including the creation of the Energy Commission and the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) as technical and economic regulators. This evolution underscores a commitment to a regulatory paradigm that requires specific licensing and permits for operational activities in the electricity sector, as outlined in the Energy Commission’s License and Permit Application Manual for Service Providers in Ghana’s Electricity Sector.

The Volta River Authority (VRA) has frequently expressed concerns about the prioritization of payments to Independent Power Producers (IPPs) by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), indicating a complex interaction between financial obligations and sectoral priorities. This concern, according to the Chamber of Independent Power Generators, Ghana (IPGG), is one of the motivations behind the introduction and ongoing reform of the cash waterfall mechanism. This mechanism aims to balance regulatory frameworks, operational roles, and financial considerations continually to ensure the sector’s sustainability and reliability.

“It is equally important for any interested party to police the collections and ensure fairness in disbursement”, it concluded.

Source: Joy online

 

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