MINISTER Of Energy, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, says the public authority doesn’t have anything to conceal in that frame of mind to move the Ameri Plant from Daboase in the Western Region to Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.
As per him, legitimization for each dollar will be shown and represented in the yet-to-be marked agreement by the Volta River Authority (VRA), adding that the all out cost for the movement has not been settled on.
“We are still negotiating at the level of VRA and the Ministry of Energy. Mr. Speaker, if it is an international contract definitely it will come to this House before it is even signed,” the Energy Minister told Parliament yesterday.
The Minority in Parliament had demanded to know whether the government was going to pay US$34 million as the cost of relocating the Ameri Plant.
Former Energy Minister, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, asked the minister the total cost of relocating the Ameri Plant to Kumasi.
Dr. Prempeh, in answering him, said, “It is not yet known. No contract has been signed yet. The total cost of the relocation of the Ameri is not yet decided because we haven’t signed the contract. We are still negotiating at the level of VRA and the Ministry of Energy.”
“It cost $87 million to put the plant where it is. If it is that comparison you want, it is $87 million against $34 million,” he said when other NDC MPs continuously hammered on the $34 million.
“Mr. Speaker, the $87 million that it cost to put the plant at Daboase [in the Western Region] was not a negotiation with VRA; it was a negotiation between the Ministry of Energy at that time with Mytilineos/Ameri company,” he added.
The Energy Minister stressed, “Justification for every dollar will be shown in the contract. Nothing will be hidden unlike the previous one.”
“Mr. Speaker, when the Ameri Plant was brought into the country under the watchful eyes of ex-President John Dramani Mahama, he didn’t think VRA was capable of maintaining and operating the plant. So he gave it to Ameri to be operated and maintained.
“Under the watchful eyes of President Akufo-Addo, this plant has been returned to VRA. When it moves to Kumasi, VRA will have 40 personnel out of 42 maintaining and operating the plant,” he noted.
“The Ameri Plant, as existed till the contract expired in January 2021, there was no single staff of VRA on the plant, and that is why it has been done the way it is,” he explained.
The minister said the contract could be signed on only after Parliament has approved it, adding, “I can tell you on authority that what we can do now is to initial the contract as a general agreement and bring it to Cabinet and the House before it is signed.”
“The operators, the OS managers of the plant Mytilineos International, are the same people who will do the relocation after operating and managing the plant for six years,” he stated.