Bayelsa faults claims on allocation for state‘s power project

Gov Seriake-Dickson07 January 2014, Yenagoa :  Controversy has continued to trail the financing of the multibillion naira Bayelsa  State Government-owned power plant in Imiringi ,following the allegations that President Goodluck Jonathan used his office to allocate billions of federal government money to complete the project.

Agitated by the allegation, the state government yesterday issued a refutal, saying contrary to the speculations, the state government had fully paid the entire project cost as at 2006.
According to the state government, though the report was published by an online new medium, the report is mischievous, misleading and aimed at maliciously smearing the image of the state and the person of the president.

The government, in a statement by the Special Adviser to the governor on Power, Mr. Olice Kemenanabo, said the only time the state government was forced to seek the assistance of the federal government was when it needed to reinforce the unstable transmission station with a bigger one in order to accommodate the additional load, “as well as the extensions that are yet to be linked.”

Kemennanabo stressed: “The fact that the president is from Bayelsa State does not mean that as a state we should not fight for what is due us in this country. Tell me anywhere in the country where there is only one transmission station serving an entire state? Ahoada which is a nearby town and a local government headquarters has  two 60MVA, 132/33kV transmission stations, yet an entire state depends on a single transmission station that is even smaller.”
This development, according to him, informed the state government’s decision to seek the federal government intervention,  which the latter graciously through the Federal Ministry of Power approved to upgrade the station.

In the letter to the Federal Ministry of Power dated April 22, 2013, signed by  Mr. Olice Kemenababo, the government narrated the power situation in the state, adding that: “Bayelsa State was connected to the national grid through a 2*30/40MVA transmission station at Gbarain in Yenagoa local government area of the central senatorial district. The transmission station has six outgoing 33kV feeders. Four out of these feeders radiate into a very rigid distribution system with numerous 33/0.415 kV that was hitherto designed for rural setting network.

“Apart from the rigidity of the network, the low tension reticulation is nothing to write home about. This has made network operation, management and control extremely cumbersome and very challenging. Indeed energy from the transmission station is not accountable as most of it is currently dissipated as heat because of the poor state of the distribution system.

“As a fast growing state, the 30/40MVA transmission station is already in an unstable condition as network agitations has started creeping in even as only parts of Yenagoa, Kaiama, Odi, Opokuma, Agudama and Tombia are the only communities currently benefitting from the station. Current extension works executed by the state government to Sagbama, Amassoma and other rural communities are definitely gong to be hampered by this serious capacity constraint.

“In the interim, the quickest solution to avoid imminent power collapse in the state is to reinforce the already unstable 2*30/40MVA, 132/33kV Station with a bigger one to accommodate the additional load as well as the extensions that are yet to be linked. I am glad that the Ministry has graciously granted to do so by upgrading the station to 90/95MVA.

“Let me also place on record that it is most unfortunate that an entire state depends on a forced cooled single transmission station, whereas state capitals and even local governments in most areas of the country have multiple transmission stations.nt areas are running on isolated networks. The reinforcement of the station therefore remains the hope that will reassure the masses.

“Unfortunately, because of this impediment the entire Southern Ijaw, Ogbia, Nembe and Brass Local Government Area bring succour even with the already existing connections. That is one major reason for which the federal university cannot be connected to the existing facility until the upgrade project is completed.

“It will, therefore, not be out of place to have a minimum of three additional transmission station on the long run while the upgrading of the only existing transmission station which brings relief to a rather bad situation that if nit hurriedly remedied could throw the entire state into darkness.

“The 132kV transmission line extension contract to Oporoma awarded by TCN is yet to commence after more than one year of contract signing an agreement. Even if it does, the contract is without a transmission station and it is our hope that the replaced power transformer at the Yenagoa transmission station and its ancillaries shall be relocated to Oporoma.

“In the light of the above, I want to commend the Ministry of Power for not just acting to avert a collapse of the only transmission station but also to ensure that power allocated to the state is adequately evacuated and accounted for.”  (This Day)

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