The Power Distribution Services Ghana Limited, which is led by Meralco, a Filipino Electricity Company, has officially taken over the operations and management of the Electricity Company of Ghana, after being presented with documents covering the transfer by officials of Government of Ghana on Wednesday, 27th February 2019.
This was at a brief but colourful ceremony at the head office of the Electricity Company of Ghana, Accra.
The ceremony was attended by the Minister for Finance; Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister for Energy; John-Peter Amewu, Senior Minister; Yaw Osafo Maafo, Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection; Cynthia Morrison, Executive Secretary of PURC; Mami Dufie Ofori, Executive Secretary of Energy Commission; Dr. Alfred Ofosu Ahenkorah, US Ambassador to Ghana; Stephanie S. Sullivan, CEO of Millennium Development Authority (MiDA); Martin Eson-Benjamin, Managing Director of ECG; Ing. Samuel Boakye-Appiah and other dignitaries.
Per the power compact transaction agreement, Meralco and its partners will hold 41% stake in ECG while the Ghanaian ownership is 51%.
The PDS is expected to inject about US$580 million into ECG for the five years within the twenty years' period.
Under the current deal, ECG will remain an assets owner and bulk power supplier while PDS is expected to be responsible for power distribution services.
Speaking at the transfer ceremony, an elated Vice President of Meralco, Mr Ireneo B. Acuna, said the consortium is bringing onboard expertise to turn around the fortunes of ECG and make electricity reliable to Ghanaians.
He said Meralco is bringing 115 years of experience of serving 6.5 million customers in Philippines to Ghanaians, stressing that its partners have proven to be trustworthy, reliable and professional to Manila Electric Company, which is the parent company of Meralco.
"I wish to assure the people of Ghana and all of our local and international partners that PDS is very determined and ready to ensure that the electricity distribution business in Ghana achieves greater level of efficiency, improved customer service and high level of reliability and availability of distribution network," he stated.
Mr. Acuna said PDS has a strategic plan which covers five strategic initiatives namely; improving the quality of services, making electricity costs reasonable, building internal capabilities, maintaining financial health and spreading and sustaining the benefits of electricity.
On his part, the Energy Minister, John Peter Amewu, said the government will waste no time in taking over the operations of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) if the new manager, Power Distribution Services (PDS), fails to meet key performance indicators.
He said PDS is expected to improve revenue collection, cut cost and maintain stable power for two decades while injecting over US$500 million into the company.
Mr. Amewu said he would closely monitor the operations of PDS to ensure they deliver on their mandate.
"If your intervention in the drive is to reduce some of these challenges and make the value of power consumption affordable to the consumers, and make Ghana industrialized as a result of cheaper power productions and make the country an enclave of power distribution in the Sub-Region, then you are worth a private sector participation in the country.
"The private participation intends to achieve over the concession period is a venture worth embracing. I wish to assure the concessionaire PDS that I am going to keep my eagle eye on the Key Performance Indicators on the transaction agreement, and if for some reasons, all those challenges enumerated above; on any single occasion during the period that you are expected to deliver effective services will come and the door to the exit will clearly be an option," he stressed
Ghana signed the Power Compact with the United States of America, acting through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an independent United States government agency, on the sidelines of the US Africa Leaders' Summit in Washington DC on August 5, 2014.
Under the Power Compact, six projects are being implemented to address the root causes of the unavailability and unreliability of power in Ghana.
The project includes ECG Financial and Operational Turnaround Project, NEDCo Financial and Operational Turnaround Project, Regulatory Strengthening and Capacity Building Project, and Access Project.
The rest are Power Generation Sector Improvement Project, and Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Management Project.