The Director of Public Relations at the Power Distribution Service (PDS), William Boateng has refuted claims the service owes Independent Power Producers huge sums for power supplied.
In an interview with Joy FM, William Boateng also denied claims that PDS has failed to honour its financial obligations to the IPPs since it took over the distribution of power from the Electricity Company of Ghana in March 2019.
Mr. Boateng was rebutting threats by the Chamber of Independent Power Producers and Bulk consumers (CIPDIB) that they will plunge Ghana into darkness if some $ 700 m debt owed its members is not paid in eight days.
Explaining the situation, the Chief Executive of CIPDIB, Eliplim Kwabla Apetorgbor, said the decision to cut power supply to PDS has been necessitated by debts they have incurred in running their operations.
These operations, he said include fueling and maintaining their plants and paying workers.
CIPDIB in a statement said, “We caution that should PDS fail to respect the terms of the PPA and make payment to the IPPs within the 7-day period; our members will be left with no choice than to shut down their plants as they cannot continue to be saddled with huge debts. This action although has huge implications for jobs – cannot be avoided.”
ECG was paying IPPs every week from earning made from consumers. But that stopped when PDS took over in March 2019.
Attempt to retrieve these debts have been met with stonewalling from PDS. They have also failed to respond to their demand letters or invitations to a meeting to discuss outstanding payments.
The way out, Mr. Apetorgbor threatened, is to stop supplying their 1,500 megawatts of power to PDS, which constitutes more than 50 per cent of what is required to meet the demands of consumers.
However, the Power Distribution Service is challenging these claims.
William Boateng said the PDS has no contract with the Independent Power Producers. They, therefore, owe the IPPs no obligation to respond to their correspondents or make payments to them.
“Mr. Apetorgbor got it wrong there,” Boateng said on the SMS Monday. Explaining this, Mr. Boateng said PDS has a contract with ECG and it has not reneged on it.
“We have honoured all our concessional obligations to ECG. ECG gives us bulk bills and we pay every week,” he pointed out.
William Boateng directed the IPPs to the ECG, the body which might have an agreement with them.