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Mr. Akito Tezuka the Chief Finance Officer of Cenpower Generation Company Limited participated in JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) Accra Office opening ceremony on Friday, 5th November at the Kempinski Hotel.

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Friday, 5th November 2021, opened formally the Ghana Office of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), at an event in Kempinski, Accra.

JETRO is one of the companies President Akufo-Addo engaged with in his official visit to Japan nearly three years ago. Toyota Tsusho, is one of the companies the President engaged with, for which an assembly plant has been established in Ghana.

With Ghana and Japan having had strong, longstanding bilateral relations since 1957, resulting in co-operation in the fields of agriculture, education, energy, finance, food, governance health, infrastructure, manufacturing, and peace and security, JETRO has played a significant role in the successful implementation of several of these trade and investments programmes, which have provided support in boosting the productivity and sustainability of many small and medium scale enterprises in Ghana.

Speaking at the event, President Akufo-Addo stated that the establishment of the JETRO Ghana Office, which has been duly staffed and resourced, is an important development towards deepening Ghana’s economic co-operation with Japan.

According to President Akufo-Addo, “It provides a permanent administrative mechanism for strengthening bilateral dialogue and cooperation on trade, investment and private sector development programmes between Japan and
Ghana.

The JETRO Ghana Office should help facilitate business linkages by directly addressing the language barrier between Ghanaian and Japanese companies.”

Continuing, the President indicated that “As an agency of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, External Trade and Investment (METI), JETRO is better placed, also, to support more diligently the full cycle of mission goals and follow-up actions required to close deals brokered from overseas trade missions, exhibitions and executive visits.”

With JETRO fully in place, he indicated that the time has come for a more co-ordinated approach by Ghana and Japan to undertake joint initiatives, which will complement the work the Ghanaian Government is already doing to empower the private sector to take advantage of long-standing and beneficial bilateral cooperation, as well as of key Trade Agreements such as the game-changing African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement, the European Union-Ghana Interim Economic Partnership Agreement, the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme, the US African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the Ghana-UK Trade Partnership Agreement, and the various Japanese Co-operation Agreements under the TICAD initiative.

President Akufo-Addo was convinced that, working closely with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, JETRO will fully align its development co-operation to assist the Ministry of Trade and Industry to implement Ghana’s comprehensive Industrial Transformation Programme.

“Industrialisation is a matter of utmost priority and urgency for this Government, especially in addressing the challenge of job creation for our youthful population, and in exploiting fully the opportunities available for Made-in-Ghana products in export markets,” he added.

The President told the gathering that Ghana is looking forward to more substantial investments by Japanese companies into her manufacturing sector for Ghana to realize its full potential as a regional manufacturing hub for Africa.

He indicated that Ghana has laid out a host of well-structured sector-specific incentives for manufacturing for domestic consumption and for exports to foreign markets. Additionally, Government, working closely with Parliament, is willing and capable of designing the right legislative and regulatory measures necessary to attract catalytic investments into key strategic sectors of the economy.

“The Ghana Automotive Manufacturing Policy, for example, is highly regarded by our peers in the auto industry as one of the best in Africa. Progress made by Volkswagen and Toyota Tsusho in setting up new Assembly Plants here in Ghana, and the imminent plans of Nissan and Suzuki to follow suit early next year, bear ample testimony to my government’s firm determination to industrialize rapidly the Ghanaian economy to propel growth, and address the problem of unemployment amongst our youth,” President Akufo-Addo added.

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Cenpower Generation Company Limited (Cenpower) has committed to switching its primary fuel from light crude oil (LCO) to natural gas and signed a gas supply agreement (GSA) with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).

Gas operations are expected to begin by the end of this week.

A statement issued by the Public Relations Unit of the Ministry of Finance said the government welcomed the significant milestone and commitment from Cenpower.

The GSA is a key part of the proposal put forward by Government during negotiations with Cenpower and will deliver substantial cost savings, estimated at $3.0 billion over the remaining term of the Cenpower PPA.

Furthermore, conversion to natural gas will have important environmental benefits, as emissions will be lowered and Ghana’s abundant natural gas resources effectively utilised for the benefit of the Ghanaians and the business community.

Additionally, the move to natural gas will alleviate the considerable pressure on Government from its take-or-pay commitments with fuel suppliers and allow for the substitution of imported fuels with locally available natural gas, thus positively impacting the capital account, the statement said.

The statement quoted Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta as saying; “We welcome Cenpower’s commitment to Ghana and recognize Cenpower’s conversion to gas as a significant step in helping regenerate Ghana’s energy sector.”

In recent weeks, there has been increased momentum under the ESRP Consultation Process towards resolving some challenging legacy issues inherited from the previous administration, he said.

“We encourage all other IPPs to engage constructively with the Government negotiating team to conclude negotiations as soon as possible. IPPs have a vested interest and a significant role to play in providing a stable energy supply as well as ensuring a fair, balanced and sustainable energy sector for the people of Ghana.

As ever, this Government is committed to building a competitive and dynamic energy sector, where private investments can thrive and the interests of the Ghanaian people and businesses continue to flourish.”

Cenpower is a major power producer in Ghana, providing approximately 10% of Ghana’s total electricity generation. This project is an excellent example of the public and private sectors working together in Ghana to attract private investment while ensuring sustainable development.

Presently, Ghana pays over US$500 million a year for unused electricity. Most of the power PPAs are legacy agreements, entered into under the previous administration.

The Government, in collaboration with the World Bank, established the Energy Sector Recovery Programme (ESRP), identifying the policies and actions needed for financial recovery in the energy sector over a five-year horizon (2019-2023).

As part of these reforms, the Government is taking steps to institute competitive bidding for future additional capacity, to ensure that future tariffs are fair and in line with expected pricing benchmarks.

The statement said the government has demonstrated its commitment to the ESRP by actively developing whole-of-sector initiatives and reforms, including implementation of the Cash Waterfall Mechanism (CWM) in April 2020, which allows tariff revenues of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to be distributed more transparently.

As well, the Government is managing the payment of energy sector arrears, despite the challenging fiscal situation, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The statement said the Government negotiating team, established under the Energy Sector Recovery Task Force (ESRTF), which is helmed by the Senior Minister, is working bilaterally with independent power producers (IPPs) and gas suppliers (GSs) under the ESRP Consultation Process, to secure more favourable agreements for both parties and achieve a balanced energy sector capable of delivering fair, long-term energy partnerships and solutions.

It said the government had undertaken the discussions in good faith and urged all IPPs to work closely with the negotiating team to conclude negotiations as soon as possible.

In September, the government successfully secured terms for an amended PPA with CENIT Power Limited.

As part of the ESRP Consultation Process, Government has also directly engaged IPP lenders in negotiations, offering to refinance outstanding facilities at a discount through a designated Energy Fund.

Clearly, lenders have a crucial role to play in alleviating the debilitating financial strain on Government – arising from the onerous and unbalanced legacy energy sector contracts – by renegotiating on terms that provide significant tariff reductions.

Globally, financial institutions are having to reconsider their positions in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating impact on national economies, including triggering defaults and credit downgrades.

Government urges lenders to take a sensible and pragmatic approach and urgently consider the refinancing proposals to conclude negotiations as quickly as possible, the statement added.

Source: Ghanaweb Business

The Power of Hope

We learn how a new power plantproject is providing hope for the Ghana’s future.

Cenpower was created with one purpose, to develop the thermal power plant which has now become known as the kpone independent power plant or “kipp”.

“it’s going to be a cost competitive, efficient and sustainable power plant for ghana,” explains company ceo theo sackey. “it was started by a ghanaian investor group comprising samuel nana brew-butler, jimmy heymann and kweku awotwi. They formed the founding shareholders of a company that would be a pioneer in our sector.”

Read more: Business Focus_cenpower Generation
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Cenpower- powering Ghana's future!!

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