20 January 2014, Abuja – The multi-billion naira 215 megawatts power plant project in Kaduna is facing fresh hurdles after overcoming the challenges of transporting equipment trapped at the port in Port Harcourt for about two years, Daily Trust investigation reveals.
The Federal Government awarded the contract in November 2009 to General Electric and Rockson Engineering for a dual thermal plant using Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO) and natural gas, to be located in Kudenda, Kaduna.
It had a December 31, 2013 completion period, but the deadline was missed due to many factors, including late delivery of turbines and other equipment.
In December 2012, Daily Trust reported that the turbines and other components of the plant were trapped at the Onne Port and could not be transported up North because the roads were bad and the bridges weak. Months later, the equipment were successfully moved to Kaduna, following repairs to the affected roadways.
Sources told Daily Trust then that the planners of the project appeared not to have reckoned with the nature of Nigerian roads and quality of the LPFO produced at the Kaduna refinery, which was supposed to be used to power the plant.
With the eventual successful transportation of the equipment, the issue of the fuel to power the plant has come up again.
Between 18 and 30 trucks of diesel are required daily to keep the plant running when it is completed, Daily Trust learnt.
Given the condition of the roads and the non-completion of the new rail line, it would be difficult and costly to sustain the plant, which is meant to be the biggest in the North.
An official involved with the project said the other alternative of firing the plant, which is also expensive, is to pipe gas from Ajaokuta (in Kogi State) to Kudenda, the location of the plant in Kaduna.
“The diesel we have at the Kaduna refinery is not the type of LPFO required for the plant,” he said.
“If the plant is to be a gas plant, we will have to build a link pipeline from the plant to Ajaokuta which is another project entirely because it would need additional funds as houses will have to be demolished for the pipeline to pass through, which means the owners of the houses have to be compensated.”
– Daily Trust