Home » Sunon Asogli Power Plant Delayed Shutdown: Ghana’s Finance Ministry Steps In

Sunon Asogli Power Plant Delayed Shutdown: Ghana’s Finance Ministry Steps In

Temporary Relief: Sunon Asogli Power Plant Shutdown Averted by Government Assurance

by Ikeoluwa Juliana Ogungbangbe

Sunon Asogli Power (Ghana) Limited, a key independent power producer, has paused its decision to shut down its 560 Megawatt plant for one week. This suspension comes amid ongoing financial challenges due to unpaid debts by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

On December 4, Sunon Asogli announced the plant’s indefinite closure, citing “avoidable delays in payment” and “unproductive engagements” with the Government of Ghana and ECG. Qun Yang, the company’s chairman, stated that the financial burden had significantly impaired their operational capabilities, making continued operations unsustainable.

However, later on the same day, the company issued another statement following assurances from Ghana’s Finance Minister. The plant’s shutdown, initially scheduled for 6:00 pm on Monday, was postponed in light of these discussions. The statement detailed an agreement for a $60 million interim payment, to be disbursed in two tranches.

Ghana has recently faced intermittent power cuts, raising concerns about a return to the widespread outages known locally as ‘dumsor’. The decision to potentially shut down Sunon Asogli’s plant coincided with parts of the country being disconnected from the national grid, highlighting the immediate impact of such actions.

The issue of government indebtedness has been a recurring theme among independent power producers in Ghana. The uncertainty surrounding these debts has led to multiple threats of plant shutdowns, underscoring the severity of the situation.

On December 1, the Independent Power Generators, Ghana, previously the Ghana Chamber of Independent Power Producers, cautioned the government against attempts to restructure energy debts totaling approximately $2.3 billion. According to the Chamber’s CEO, Elikplim Apetorgbor, the IPPs’ obligations to suppliers and banks make debt restructuring unfeasible.

As of November 30, the government’s outstanding debt to IPPs was around $2.35 billion, reflecting the ongoing financial strain in Ghana’s energy sector.

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