The Geregu II plant, with capacity to provide 434 megawatts of electricity, is one of the 10 National Integrated Power Project plants that are scheduled to be inaugurated by the President in the next few months in order to boost power supply nationwide.
Speaking at the ceremony, Jonathan said the inauguration of the plant was part of his administration’s efforts to provide stable power for the nation’s teaming population.
He said, “In the months ahead, I will be inaugurating a number of NIPP plants that will add close to 5,000MW to the national grid.
“The dream of Nigerians that one day the epileptic power challenge will be over is gradually becoming a reality.”
The President listed the challenges that faced the NIPP plants from inception as a court case instituted against the Federal Government by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission; acquisition of sites for the plants; impassable roads to convey the turbines; and lack of dedicated gas pipelines to the plants.
The National Economic Council had in 2004 approved the funding of the NIPPs from the Excess Crude Account, which belongs to the three tiers of government.
The Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited was also approved as the special purpose vehicle for the projects, with the federal, state and local governments across the country having shares in the company.
Apart from Geregu II, the other NIPP plants, which are now in the process of being sold to private sector operators include, Calabar (630MW), Egbema (378MW), and Ihovbor (504MW).
Others are Gbarain (252MW), Sapele (504MW), Omoku (252MW), Alaoji (107MW), Olorunsogo (750MW), and Omotosho (500MW).
The 10 gas-fired power plants are currently being sold by the Bureau of Public Enterprises in conjunction with the NDPHC, and are expected to be handed over to private sector core investors by June 2014.
The Managing Director, NDPHC, Mr. James Olotu, said the projects were accompanied with gas pipeline constructions from the ELP system and the gas fields at Adanga offshore, Izonbe, Gbarain-Ubie, Oredo and Oben to power the plants.
On Geregu II, he said, “The power station consists of three Siemens SGTS-2000E gas turbines in simple-cycle mode with a designed combined site rating of 434MW. Messrs Siemens AG and Siemens Limited Nigeria were awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract in March 2010 on a turnkey basis with a completion time of 27 months.
“The first turbine unit plus the common systems went into full commercial operation upon the conclusion of final completion tests on April 3, 2013, while the other two units were completed and put to commercial use on May 14, 2013.”
The Managing Director, Siemens Limited, Mr. Michael Lakota, said the new plant brought to three the number of the company’s plants operating in the country.
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said the NIPP plants were already adding 1,600MW to the national grid.
He added that efforts were on to address the challenges in all segments of the power chain, including transmission and distribution.
Governor Idris Wada of Kogi State said the Geregu II plant was real and a clear demonstration of the determination of the government to tackle the challenges of power supply throughout the nation.
Information from The Punch was used in this report.