|Prof. Barth Nnaji
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and former Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji said one of the Independent Power Plants (IPP) licensed by the Federal Government, Geometric Power Ltd, Aba, Abia State will switch on around April next year after three years after completion of the project.
Complicated by contractual and other ancillary controversies, the Plant has been held down from switching on since completion. But Nnaji at the weekend disclosed that all the issues have been resolved and the plant set for switching on in six months’ time.
Nnaji gave hint through his wife, who is also the Managing Director of the Company, Mrs. Agatha Nnaji, at this year’s Annual Powering Africa, Nigeria Conference organised by the EnergyNet Group in conjunction with the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Abuja.
Mrs. Nnaji explained that her husband could not attend the conference, as he had to travel overseas to sign an operational deal with a firm that is to commence operation on the plant.
She expressed optimism that the plant will go off before or in six month’s time.
In her words, “This project has been virtually completed and should have been delivering electricity about three years ago. However, it encountered one of the main issues, which Government must work on to ensure the confidence of investors, and that is the sanctity of contracts.
She added, “The good news is that with the support of the present government and the current initiative to address the man-made issues that stalled its progress, we believe that the project should go into commercial operations within six months barring any unforeseen circumstances.”
The development of Aba IPP was based on a commercial study and technical audit of the Aba Island conducted in 2005 by the project promoter Geometric Power in collaboration with Power Holding Company of Nigeria and sponsored by International Finance Corporation of the World Bank.
The goal in the design of Aba IPP was to create a credit-worthy bankable entity out of the leased Aba Electricity Business Districts as an example of how embedded power can ensure the achievement of reliable electric power in ring-fenced districts.
An integrated complete utility was therefore established that is isolated from the grid but is capable of taking power from the grid on emergency or supplying excess power to the grid.
The project involved the obtaining of a concession for the Government owned Aba and Ariaria electricity business districts; rehabilitation of the government-owned distribution assets; the building of five new substations (3x60MVA; and 4x2x15MVA); and Investment in over 105 kilometres of 33 kV power lines and over 40 kilometres of 11 kV power lines.
Total investment is over $530 million for the Aba IPP for the power plant and distribution assets and the building of Aba IPP facilities will result in Improvement of quantity and quality of power supply with electricity at 24/7while excess power is sold to the national grid.