The event, which was aimed at discussing the structure of the ECG concession and share ideas to improve the process, was organised by the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA).
Boakye Kyeremateng Agyarko, Minister of Energy, who launched the event, stressed the importance of reliable and available power supply for national development.
According to him, years of inadequate investment, inefficiencies within the utility and a large stock of outstanding receivables, particularly in the distribution sector, had all conspired to make the organisations in the sector what they are today.
“We are seeking the best qualified private sector partner with the financial capacity and the right experience to partner ECG. We expect that the engagement will transfer capacity to ECG staff for sustainable management of the utility.
“The successful bidder should be able to help us to revitalize the power sector to enable our industries become more productive, so as to grow our economy and provide more jobs for Ghanaians.”
The six shortlisted applicants for the ECG PSP concession who, among others, attended the conference included Tata Power Company Limited from India; Manila Electric Company from the Philippines; Ch Group Ghana with EDF and Veola SA with Ghanaian address – Engie Services; SA from France, BXC Company Ghana Limited, registered and operating in Ghana and Enel S.P.A. of Italy.
Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori Atta, in an address, said if government meets all its current financial obligations to ECG, the company would still not be in a position to inject the kind of investment needed to improve the fortunes of the company and create more value for its stakeholders.
He said the investments required by ECG to meet the needs of an expanding customer base could simply not come from only government.
The World Bank, in its 2015 Energy Outlook, indicated that electricity was the second most important constraint to business in Ghana, adding that Ghana lost about 1.8 percent of gross domestic product during the 2007 power crisis.
Also, the Institute of Social, Statistical and Economic Research (ISSER), in its 2014 study, indicated that on the average, Ghana lost production worth $2.1 million per day during the power crisis just before that study alone.
Ing. Owura Kweku Sarfo, CEO of MiDA, said ECG was one of the largest power distribution utilities in sub-Saharan African with over 3 million registered customers and over 6,000 GWh of electricity distributed and sold per annum.
“While ECG’s service areas covers approximately 36 percent of the country’s country, it counts for 18.12 million people (or 73.5 percent of the total population), 57.6 percent of which are living in urban areas.”