Ghana in Talks to Consolidate $1.2 Billion Energy Utility Debt

ACCRA, Ghana, Capital Markets in Africa: Ghana is in talks with domestic and foreign banks to consolidate its energy sector utilities’ $1.2 billion debts, Finance Minister Seth Terkper said.

The state won’t be responsible for the debt, which will be accounted for by the energy companies, Terkper said in an interview in the capital, Accra. Ghana’s Chief Director at the Petroleum Ministry, Thomas Akabzaa, said Tuesday the country will sell $2 billion of bonds to clear $1.5 billion in debt accumulated by the Volta River Authority, Ghana Grid Co. and some power distribution units. Any new loans won’t be more than $1.2 billion, Terkper said.

“Going into the energy era, we need to clean the debts on their balance sheets,” Terkper said. The companies will use revenues and sector levies to repay the debt, he said.

Ghana is seeking to clear the debt of its energy utilities while it also plans to proceed with a $1 billion Eurobond sale despite concerns about rising borrowing costs. The world’s second-biggest cocoa producer agreed to an almost $1 billion International Monetary Fund program in April 2015 as output of the bean declined and prices of commodities including gold fell.

Source: Bloomberg Business News

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