Power: Govt targets $10bn new investments

Prof Chinedu Nebo06 February 2014, Abuja – New hydro power generation plants and transmission projects under the phase two of the National Integrated Power Project are likely to attract over $10bn fresh investments into the power sector.

Sources close to the NIPP transaction, who asked not to be named, told our correspondent on Wednesday that the Niger Delta Power Holding Company was expected to provide a counterpart funding of about $3.4bn, while the private sector would provide the balance.

The project, according to the NDPHC, involves the construction of two large and one medium hydro power plant, and the construction of hydro power plants on 13 existing medium and small dams in various parts of the country.

The NDPHC, in an advert last week, said the project would also involve the construction of critical infrastructure across the country to enhance the wheeling capacity of the national grid.

The third arm of the project, the NDPHC said, involved capacity building for the NDPHC project management team.

The Managing Director, NDPHC, Mr. James Olotu, had in January said the new projects would be implemented under the second phase of the NIPP, which had been approved by the Federal Government.

The Federal Government conceived the NIPP in 2004 to stabilise electricity supply in the country and the NDPHC has successfully built 10 new power plants.

The plants are Omotoso, 450 megawatts; Sapele, 450MW; Geregu, 434MW; Olorunsogo, 750MW; and Ihovbor, 450MW.

Others are Gbarain, 225MW; Alaoji, 450MW; Calabar, 561MW; Egbema, 338MW; and Omoku, 225MW.

To increase the nation’s power generation capacity, the NIPP plants are being put up for sale for the divestment of the government’s 80 per cent.

The sale process commenced with road shows in Lagos, London and New York, while 368 bidders have emerged for the sale of the 10 power plants.

The NDPHC had said proceeds from the sale of the 10 power plants under the NIPP would be spent on new hydro power stations and the electricity transmission grid.

When contacted on the telephone on Wednesday, Olotu said the winners of the technical bids for the plants would emerge next week, while the financial bids would be opened in two weeks.

“The result of those who pass the technical bid process will be released next week,” he said.

The NIPP scope also involves 102 transmission network projects, but the NDPHC last year said Right of Way challenges had delayed the 3,000-kilometre route of the 330kv and 132kv transmission lines.

“The problem is especially acute in densely populated and built up areas of Lagos, Anambra, Imo, Abia, Enugu and Akwa Ibom states,” Olotu said.

He said the issue was being dealt with, adding that the NDPHC was already working with the state governments in order to move the transmission projects forward.

Olotu decried the inadequate gas supply to the NIPP stations and said he was not sure when the problem would be resolved due to continuous pipeline vandalism.

The PUNCH had exclusively reported on January 29, 2013 that three of the NIPP plants and two Independent Power Project stations were down due to gas shortage.

It was also exclusively reported that not less than 48 critical pieces of transmission equipment were out of service across the country due to faults, fire incidents and vandalism, thus worsening the already precarious power supply situation nationwide.


– The Punch

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