Kofi Anokye, the CEO of Koans Building Solutions has exposed shortcomings in two of the main energy initiatives embarked on by the Nana Addo led government.
In an interview with a section of the media, the Real Estate mogul indicated that the deal to give away 49% of ECG to a private company and Guaranteeing 1 billion dollars for Early Power Company to construct 400MW multi fuelled power plants, are steps in the wrong direction.
On the ECG privatisation deal which will see government part with 49% shares of the company to a private businessman, he indicated that it is going to impede the vision of the government to extend power to all Ghanaians at an affordable price because private investors will go to every length to make profit.
According to him, as a developing country, our primary focus with regards to power should first be driven by affordability, access before profitability to drive the necessary development even if it means government will make some loses or break even.
He indicated that it is too early to go to every length to make profit out of electricity because it will mean pushing poor consumers to pay beyond their purchasing power and crippling growth in the private sector.
“After the nation has developed to a stage where citizens have access to social support at the end of the month, when salaries can go beyond putting food on the table to acquisition of assets, then government can think of profitability because it is not realistic under the current dispensation”.
He rather proposed a management contract so that the “inefficiencies in the system are dealt with" because as far as he was concerned, they are the major challenges of ECG that if addressed, will see the company make some gain without pushing exorbitant cost on consumers.
On the Early Power Deal, the apostle of renewable hydro tagged it a bad deal that needs to be abrogated with immediate effect.
His point is that “the commitment of 1 Billion Dollar guarantee isn’t fair to Independent Power Producers who are left to invest in the sector bearing 100% risk”.
To him, “in a free market environment where equal grounds are given for investors to compete while government creates enabling environment for all to thrive; it is a bad decision on the part of government to secure the investment of Early Power with 1 billion dollars when other producers are made to invest at their own risk”.
“If the Early Power Plant is the best in the country as we are being made to believe, why are they not investing at their own risk like others did?
“What prevents Early Power and their partners from producing and selling the power to us cheaper so that government has no choice than to buy from them instead of the others like it is done in every free competitive market?”
According to him, given the pace at which technology evolves, “it makes no sense to enter into a 20 year deal that puts the burden on government to stick to the contract even when a better and cheaper technology is available.”
“With the current generational capacity being over a 1000 MW more than our peak demand, there was no need to go the way of the plants like we have been doing since 1984; we should be looking at a cheaper source of energy that answers the environmental questions being asked by global warming”.
He called on government to think outside the box in the search for permanent solution to our energy issues because any solution that does not guarantee affordability is a non-starter.
According to him, he expected the current government to be smarter and shift from the “over reliance on fossil fuel powered plant because they are best for emergency and economically unwise for permanent usage”.
“Countless countries are now moving towards the Pump Storage Power Plant I have for so long advocated for, to be able to take away the problem with water shortage that has bedevilled hydro; why can’t we look towards that direction?" he quizzed.
“Half the money for the Early Power project can build a 500MW PSPP Hydro Dam and so it was pointless for government to guarantee their private investment with that sum of money”.
In conclusion, he called on government to go back to the drawing-board and look at doing something different because they are repeating the very mistakes that have been repeated over the years and brought us where we are.
“It doesn’t matter how much electricity we produce, if it is not affordable then the government has failed because what Ghanaians were promised was cheaper source of energy. Unfortunately, that seems to be losing its place in the narrative".
Kofi Anokye is the CEO of Koans Building Solutions and a Golden European Award Winner.
He has since 2013 advocated for renewable hydro as the best way out of our power crises because according to him, it is the only way we can produce electricity cheaper in the context of the average Ghanaian’s purchasing power and earn foreign exchange on excess power generated.
He is on record to have said that he can recycle the Akosombo Dam to be able to operate at full capacity even in dry seasons.
Kofi Anokye is a Property Hall of Famer in Ghana and a Licensed Commercial Builder in the US and UK.
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