February 15, 2017 By Joseph S. Margai
The Minister of Energy has told Concord Times in a telephone interview that the Kufour power plants, which the Ministry of Energy rented from the government of Ghana in 2015 for two thousand five hundred United States Dollars (USD2,500), will be returned at any time from now.
It could be recalled that in 2015, the Ministry of Energy in Sierra Leone, rented Kufour power plants comprising 10 CAT machines to salvage the poor electricity condition in Sierra Leone.
Minister of Energy, Ambassador Henry Macauley, in a telephone interview with Concord Times recently, disclosed that the contract for the 10 CAT rented Kufour power plants ended in September, 2016.
“The machines are here but they are not supposed to be used because the contract has come to an end. We have informed the Ghanaian government about the situation and we are waiting to hearing from them,” he said.
The action of the Government of Ghana to rent the 10 CAT power plants to Sierra Leone attracted serious criticism from the media in Ghana.
Gas to Power Journal published in its Brief News column on Monday, 23rd February, 2015, that the Government of Ghana was renting 10 of the CAT’s 1-megawatt capacity plants-on-wheels to Freetown at a cost of $2,500 apiece for some time, adding that before shipment, the containerised power plants were thoroughly investigated at the Volta River Authority (VRA) yard at the port of Tema.
StarrFMonline.com on Monday, 16th February, 2015, in its news titled “Gov’t shipping Kufuor power plants to Sierra Leone as ‘dumsor’ worsens” disclosed that the Government of Ghana was shipping to neighbouring Sierra Leone, several containerised power generators procured by the Kufuor administration in 2007. StarrFMonline.com further noted that it was yet to confirm why the plants were being shipped to Sierra Leone and whether or not they were being dashed to that country, or sold under any special transactional arrangement.
It further stated that dozens of the CAT generators had been brought out in the yard for onward shipping to Sierra Leone, noting that the situation has generated intense discussions and divisions among top engineers, management members as well as some lower staff of the VRA.
StarrFMonline.com had rare fly-on-the-wall opportunities in some highly classified meetings held by some top engineers as well as some rounds done by them concerning the plants.
Many social commentators said the machines, which were rented for huge sum of money, did not serve the intended purpose. They said the government would have put the US$2,500 together to buy at least three new power plants rather than renting 10 CAT plants that got faulty at some points.