The Chamber of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) has reiterated that its members will shut down their plants in three weeks if the government fails to meet their demands to settle all outstanding energy debt.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber, Elikplim Apetorgbor, its members are struggling to keep their businesses afloat, hence, the IPPs cannot stretch themselves beyond the June 30 deadline.
“Our conditions or severity of our situation is something that cannot be negotiated. We have done everything possible to manage the situation but it has gone beyond our control. So really, nothing has changed our ultimatum to the government, that is the June 30th is still standing,” Mr. Apetorgbor said.
Commenting on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) asking the government to undertake an audit of the power plants to ensure it is actually paying the right amount, Mr. Apetorgbor said, “We are open to any kind of audit. I can tell you that this thing has happened time and again – auditing of our invoices. Let me tell you it is just a strategy to buy time.”
The Independent Power Producers, Distributors, and Bulk Consumers earlier threatened to cut power supply to the national grid by the end of June 2023 if the government fails to settle its debt.
This potentially could create a huge power shortfall as the IPPs control over 65% of the available thermal generation capacity in the country.
They are owed at least 1.4 billion dollars and the government has so far been working around the clock to get them to agree to have these debts restructured.