Wednesday 6th June, 2018 –Sticking to its promise, government today released the agreement it signed with PV Energy Ltd. And its subsidiaries for a solar energy project in the country.
The document details the agreement for the provision of 10 Megawatts of Solar Energy and is being revealed following calls from the Opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) for review of the contract, following allegations levelled against former Minister Asot Michael that he demanded payments for projects he helped to secure on behalf of the UK based company.
The agreement mainly details the disbursement of funds from an escrow account which is to be made without delay to PV Energy whenever the disbursement rules are fulfilled. It is outlined that all parties agree that in order to allow for timely and accurate project execution, PV Energy shall be entitled to withdraw funds, which are available in the escrow account as per the regulations set out in the agreement.
Under Disbursement of funds from the Renewable Energy Escrow Account, PV Energy was entitled to withdraw on a monthly basis US $ 83,333.33 from the escrow account upon commissioning of the first installation and upon presentation of the commissioning certificate for the specific project. Some US $ 2,000,000 is listed in the agreement for operations and maintenance services for two years.
In December 2015, a three Megawatt peak (MWp) solar energy plant was commissioned at the VC Bird International Airport, the first stage of the project.
The agreement was signed on 21st April, 2015 by Prime Minister Gaston Browne and then Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy, Asot Michael along with two witnesses. There were no signatories from PV officials attached to the document.
APUA was recently directed by Cabinet to resume negotiations with PV Energy after discussions hit a snag. The issue was the UK Company was demanding payment ahead of the completion of its work. According to Minister Melford Nicholas, any project that Mr. Virdee has had an interest in continues to be valid, despite him being accused of fraud and tax evasion under the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme and recently accusations of bribery.