Improved power supply expected as Nigeria to add 126MW to national grid

There is a huge prospect for improvement in power supply networks as additional 126 megawatts (MW) of electricity are set to be added to the national grid in two months following the completion of work on the second gas turbine of the Gbarain Power Station in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

Power generation on Nigeria’s grid currently hovers between 4,000MW and 5,000MW, which analysts say needs expansion to drive the industrialisation of Africa’s largest economy. The Nigerian government has been making efforts to grow its grid capacity to 25,000MW in five years, as the Federal Government and Siemens are currently implementing projects to actualise this.

Also, findings from the Niger Delta Power Holding Company show that one of the gas turbines of the Gbarain plant, which was partially completed by Rockson Engineering, has been finally erected and ready to supply power to the grid. Chiedu Ugbo, managing director, NDPHC, explained that the Gbarain Power Station was one of the four power stations hitherto awarded to Rockson Engineering.

“Some of the stations such as Gbarain and Alaoji were partially completed. Some others such as Egbema and Omoku were not completed at all,” Ugbo said. “Rockson is in receivership now; so it is insolvent and therefore the NDPHC board gave us the directive to terminate (the deal) and we terminated all the contracts,” he said.

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The board of NDPHC is made up of the governors, four ministers and the vice president who serves as chairman. Ugbo stated that the NDPHC had terminated the deal with Rockson and was carrying out procurement for some of the stations.“Before now, at the Gbarain Power Station in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, only one unit of the gas turbine has been erected and in the grid,” Ugbo said.

“So it was partially completed under Rockson. For the second unit, the erection has now been completed; so, we are undergoing commissioning now to ensure that it is working and then, we can bring it to the grid.“That takes a few months, maybe two to three months to be on the grid. So in essence, in two to three months’ time, we will be getting 126MW of power precisely.

“The power plant has a name-plate capacity of 252MW. One unit of 126MW is already working; it is the second unit of 126MW that we are completing. This is to happen this year,” he said. The company also announced that it had started the transmission projects connecting Nkalagu-Abakaliki and other distribution projects in Afikpo where the CSP Transformers on 11KV lines were installed in Enugu State.

Ugbo, who disclosed this in Abuja, said the NDPHC was in discussions with the Enugu Distribution Company to enhance power supply to the network through the eligible customer arrangement.

He said this step would address the issue of stranded power in the South-east region and ultimately increase revenue to NDPHC. According to Ugbo, the NDPHC was engaging another contractor to finish the construction of Egbema and Omoku Power Stations.

The NDPHC manages the National Integrated Power Projects, which is owned by the three tiers of government.

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