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27 July 2017

Ameri deal cancellation looms as Majority backs plan

Parliament is set to debate an urgent motion for the termination of the AMERI power deal Thursday, but Majority MPs have said they will vote in favour of the motion.

The 300MW emergency power contract was secured in 2015 by the John Mahama administration to fix severe power challenges at the time after it received Parliamentary approval.

However, following a publication by a Norwegian newspaper about the deal, it was condemned for its $510 million price tag as analysts say Ghana could have secured the same deal at $150 million less.

Think tank, IMANI Centre for Energy and Education, for instance, says the Ameri deal was incompetently done by former government officials who did not exhaust all the market research and analysis to enable them to get a better deal.

Related: How not to deal with the Ameri Power debacle

“Frankly, we did not need Ameri at all in the deal had we bought the aero-derivative plants for $350m ($220m plant, plus $140m installing cost) from the Greek Power company, Metka. Ameri’s involvement as a deal maker, who simply took Ghanaian power officials to Metka cost us an extra $150m,” IMANI President, Franklin Cudjoe, said recently.

Related: AMERI power deal over-priced by $150m – Energy ministry report

Majority MP for Adansi-Asokwa, K.T. Hammond recently filed an urgent motion in Parliament requesting for the cancellation of the deal, a motion the Minority believes could plunge the country into darkness if held.

Minority MPs also want the Power Ministry to come clear about whether or not it supports the motion to cancel the deal.

However, Chairman of the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, Emmanuel Gyamfi told Joy News Wednesday government does not necessarily have to back the motion since the Majority is in full support of the motion.

“This is not a new position. This has been the position of the then Minority party in Parliament, and now we are now the majority party in Parliament,” he said.

Hence with Parliament always split between the Majority (171 votes) and Minority (104 votes) in voting on motions, the Majority MPs are likely to succeed in abrogating the deal.

However, questions remain over the implication to the country should Parliament vote to revoke the controversial deal.

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