By Lenie Lectura – March 5, 2019
from Business Mirror
Power Distribution Services Ltd. (PDS) officially took over the assets and operations of Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) on March 1.
PDS is a consortium between Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), through Meridian Power Ventures Ltd.; AEnergia SA, an Angolan company; and three Ghanaian firms—TG Energy Solutions Ghana Ltd., Santa Power Ltd. and GTS Power Ltd.
The handover was pursuant to the award to the PDS Consortium, which will be the electricity service provider in all of ECG’s operational areas in the Southern Distribution Zone of Ghana, under a 20-year concession agreement approved by the Government of Ghana.
ECG’s assets would be leased to the PDS, the concessionaire, while the ECG would become an asset-holding company. After the end of the concession, all assets would be transferred back to it.
PDS is expected to invest $580 million in the first five years of the 20-year concession period. Meralco’s share may amount to $40 million over five years.
“PDS Consortium intends to invest over $580 million for capital expenditures and is expected to strengthen the governance, management and operations of the ECG and improve the delivery of power to end users as well as support Ghana’s socioeconomic growth,” a disclosure from Meralco stated.
Meralco President Oscar S. Reyes said the company has a 30-percent stake in PDS, but is allowed to reduce its stake to as low as 19 percent in the event the consortium can take in more members or allow others to hike their interest.
The bid of PDS included equity ownership and management of the concession company that would take over ECG, which supplies 80 percent of the population of Ghana through 3 million accounts.