The Commercial Division of the High Court in July dismissed a judicial review application brought against the Energy Commission (“Commission”) by Power Distribution Services Ghana Limited (“PDS”) challenging the cancellation of PDS’ electricity distribution licences.
In March 2019, the Electricity Company of Ghana (“ECG”) granted a twenty (20)-year concession to PDS to manage, operate, and invest in the distribution of electricity in the southern zone of Ghana. PDS obtained two operating licenses from the Commission, which is the statutory regulator of energy resources in Ghana and is responsible for granting licences for the transmission and sale of electricity. Following a dispute over the validity of payment guarantees provided by PDS, the Commission suspended and ultimately cancelled the operating licences in October 2019.
PDS filed a judicial review application shortly after to quash the Commission’s cancellation of the operating licences. The Court dismissed the application, citing PDS’ failure to exhaust the internal dispute resolution mechanism provided by the Commission’s enabling statute. Under the Energy Commission Act, 1997 (Act 541), persons aggrieved by the Commission’s suspension or cancellation of a licence ought to first lodge a complaint with the Minister for Energy, who shall within thirty (30) days of receipt of the complaint make a decision on it. In the interim, the Commission has issued new operating licences to the ECG, thus returning assets to it for self-management.