Federal Government to boost power supply to 5000Mw by December! "Na 2day?"

The Federal  Government has announced a new target  of  5000 Megawatts (Mw) for national electric power generation by December 2011, just as it lamented that power plants in the country had not experienced any form of overhauling in the last 40 years.

This came on the heels of assurances that N1.5 billion would be immediately released for the resuscitation of the ailing unit 6 of Egbin power plant, the nation’s largest thermal power station. The hint was dropped over, weekend, by the Minister of power  Professor Barth Nnaji  when he paid a  two day scheduled  visit  for an on-the-spot assessment of power plants in the southwest, weekend.

He said with the completion and commissioning of other NIPP plants before year-end, the nation’s power production capacity would improve to about 5000Mw. He said: “We are passionate about completing the repairs of unit ST-06. We no longer wish to cannibalize it to repair other units. Please provide us N1.4 to N1.5 billion to complete the project and in return please tell Mr President that we will bring back extra 220 Mw with the repairs of ST-06 and he will be here to commission it by the special grace of God.”

The Minister in his response said he would immediately ensure the prompt release of the needed funds for unit 6 as Egbin, as a whole, was very strategic to the country being the supplier of about 25 per cent of total national power supply and consumption. Reacting to the proposed hand-over of the company, the Minister assured aggrieved workers and union members not to be afraid of privatization as the programme was not directed at staff reduction.

He also said that the negotiation would have to be re-opened as there has been more investment on the power plant since the last negotiation with prospective investors, hence the status of the plant has changed significantly and the government would need to recoup its investment. He further assured the workers that the proposed handover of the company to core investors by December is no longer realistic and as such they should go about their respective duties with appreciable dedication.

The Minister who was accompanied by the Minster of Information Mr. Labaran Maku however lamented the fact that all the power plants in the country have not been over-hauled in the last 40 years even as  40 percent of power generated cannot be accounted for in fiscal terms as the distribution companies are currently not meeting up with their target in order for them to pay for power generated and transmitted to them.  He assured the workers that their expertise would be required even by the incoming investors as no one can better manage a plant which has core engineers with decades of experience working on it.

“President Jonathan’s Power roadmap is expected to expand the sector hence investors would come in to catch in on greater opportunities and more hands would be required.
For more people especially those who are technically sound to continue to get the opportunity  to be in business. Egbin is currently generating 1080 Mw and Olorunsogo is currently generating about 200 Mw so there is progress being made, however we are going back and meet  with the minister of petroleum resources to work out the necessary supply of gas to power the thermal stations.

Professor Nnaji  also told newsmen that  away from the temporary gas line being used by the Olorunsogo power plant in Ogun state a permanent line is currently under construction to ensure that the power plant performs at optimal level and supplies the needed 335Mw of power.