The two the main power distribution utilities, Electricity Co. of Ghana Ltd. and Northern Electricity Distribution Co., have unpaid obligations of 807 million cedis while Volta Aluminium Co. owes $30 million, Jonathan Amoako-Baah, the managing director of Ghana Grid Co. Ltd., told reporters Thursday in the capital, Accra.

The company has fallen behind on some debt obligations, such as a $170 million facility with the French Development Agency, which has suspended further disbursements, said Amoako-Baah. This means that the utility cannot carry on with certain projects, including the expansion of its power export capacity to neighboring Burkina Faso, he said.

Ghana’s energy sector is plagued by rising debt as tariffs fail to recover generation costs while unpaid bills and excess capacity add to the burden of power utilities. Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta warned earlier this month that the sector’s liabilities may amount to $12.5 billion by 2023, from about $2.5 billion in January.

Credit: Bloomberg L.P.