01 April 2013, Aba – The Aba Integrated Power Project, Aba IPP, said it will provide 95 percent uninterrupted power supply to the Abia State capital, Aba, a commercial city-center including the over 50,000 small and medium scale businesses SMEs, located there and other surrounding towns.
The Aba IPP, owned by Geometric Power Limited, also controls four power sub-stations around the state with an additional three, state-managed sub-stations bringing it to a total of seven sub-stations in the state; the project which is being funded jointly by local and foreign investors is already 95 percent completed with an estimated capacity of 183 mega watts.
Speaking with Sweetcrude in Abuja, the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Geometric Power Limited, Prof. Berth Nnaji said: “The project in Aba was motivated by the desire of the people in the area, who are in industrial and commercial space to have more reliable electricity. And this came about by the visit of the Minister of Finance during President Obasanjo’s time, that is, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who took the President of the World Bank, James Wolfesohn, to Aba to meet with Ariaria SMEs.
Nnaji noted that there are over 50,000 SME industries in Aba, all of whom confessed that that their major problem is inadequate electricity supply.” They said if they had electricity, they can run multiple shifts as against the running of just one shift.”
Apart from increasing working hours, the operators said they can produce seamless products and reduce inconsistencies in the number of products they produced.
“If you want to produce for export, you have to make your products to have certain qualities and consistencies. But they cannot do it now. So for people in the granite industry or shoe industry to have orders from the big stores of Europe, America and so on, they have to have such consistency and quality. They are running small generators and in fact, literally there is a business for renting small generators for processing. And that is just not the way these things are supposed to work. So that was the motivation,” Nnaji added.
Based on the leased agreement with the Federal Government, Nnaji said the Aba IPP was able to attract some investors and banks to develop the project.