By Obas Esiedesa
The Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) has begun move to complete four power plants located in Alaoji, Egbema, Omoku and Gbarain with a combined capacity of about 2,000 mega watts of power.
Works on the plants which were originally awarded to Rockson Engineering Company Limited have stalled leading to the cancellation of the contracts by NDPHC.
Speaking shortly after an inspection visits to the project sites, the new Executive Director, Generation, NDPHC, Engr. Kassim Abdullahi said the company is making effort to engage new Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractors to complete the plants and make them available to the National Grid.
According to him, in the short term, “we are going to ensure that for all these power plants that are still undergoing installation, we will engage the right EPCs to make sure we complete them, have a thorough follow up on all the key open issues that these power plants have not to make them operational.
“We will employ the strategy of getting competent consultants to ensure that these projects are followed through. The aim is to make these power plants available and also ensure speedy engagement with the right government agencies for evacuation of power from the plants”.
Speaking at the 1,074 Alaoji plant in Abia State, he noted that while some parts have been completed and operational, a lot of work is need to complete the project.
“We have gone round to see the condition of the parts for the completion of the steam turbine; we have taken note of some of the quick fix we need to work on quickly. So I believe that in the next few months, we will see a lot in the progress of this project”, he stated.
Speaking at 378.3MW Egbema Power Plant near Owerri, Imo State, which contract was awarded in 2006, Engr. Abdullahi said a lot of work is still needed to complete the plant and bring it on-stream.
He explained that the reason for the visit “is to ascertain the level of job that is pending to be completed and also advice the top management on how we can quickly step into ensure that this project is completed on time.
“This is work in progress; we have just taken back the project from our EPC contractors after a long period of delay. It is very important plant and a lot power stranded here at a time a lot of Nigerians need it. We want to bring in a new competent EPC that can complete the project”.
He however commended the company handling the Gas Receiving Station for keeping it prepared and ready for the power plant.
“From the gas side, you could see a very good level of maintenance from the contractor that is managing this facility which is a very good thing, a very good practice to ensure that these equipments are preserved and maintained to avoid any form of deterioration and also prevent any form of hazards that may arise as result of keeping this facility”, he said.
Speaking on the state of 252MW Omoku Power plant in Rivers State, the ED Generation said “We have seen the level of activities that are still on-going which we need to quickly come back to site to ensure that the project is completed”.
At the 252MW Power plant in Gbarain, Bayelsa State, he said the company’s in house generation project team was working to ensure that the remaining unit in plant comes on stream next year.
“Here we are at Gbarain which is partially operational. We have seen the level of in-house intervention which we are doing through our generation project department, trying to complete the second unit. This is a job well done for the team. We are targeting to fire this unit early next year; we are on track on that.
“Over all, there are areas of improvement that we need to work hard with the team. Coming to these three power plants has given me a lot of information on how we can plan better and how we can be able to ensure that these power plants are up and running, and continuous operations for the supply of electricity to the Nigerian population”.
Also speaking, the new Executive Director, Corporate Services, Mrs. Nkechi Mba who was part of the team that inspected Alaoji, said the company was looking for new markets to sell its power.
Mrs. Mba explained that the new management team of the company is determined to ensure that the company, which is largest power company in the country, delivers on its mandate.
“We are refocused and NDPHC has got to start running as a business centre. Power is a business and we intend to run it as such for the benefit of our shareholders, the states, local government and the Federal Government which have invested a lot of money for the benefit of Nigerians who need power to explode into the potentials that we have as a country. It part of our brief to find new markets for our product”.
On his part, NDPHC, Head Generation Projects, Engr. Mohammed Sa’adu who gave a breakdown of the status of the four plants, getting competent EPC contractors to complete the projects is a priority.
Sa’adu explained: “The Egbema Power plant is a three gas fired plant units designed to output 378.3MW ISO to the national grid. This contract was initially awarded in 2006 to our erstwhile contractor, Rockson Engineering Company Limited which unfortunately up to this moment, the contract could not be executed to its design output. The board of NIPP has directed a termination of that particular contract at the end of 2019.
“We have four power plants that were being built by Rockson Engineering. This one in Egbema, there is a 252MW power plant in Omoku, 30km away from here, and then there is another 252MW plant in Gbarain Obie, Bayelsa State, as well as the 1,074MW Alaoji Power plant”.
He pointed out that the “Alaoji and Gbarain are in operation being that parts of them have been completed by the former contractor and they put them into national grid but we are yet to complete them to scope” he added.