03 April 2014, Abuja – Obvious slippages in the completion of four major power plants and transmission projects under the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) framework by Rockson Engineering has pushed the federal government to order the project contractor to work towards a more realistic completion timeline.
The projects: A 1,131MW Alaoji plant, 381MW Egbema plant, 254MW Gbarain plant and 265MW Omoku power plant, with a combined generation capacity of 2,031MW are all situated within the eastern axis of Nigeria.
The four projects make up a good proportion of the total 5,454MW NIPP generation projects capacities and were awarded to Rockson Engineering for construction along with a critical transmission project that is expected to evacuate power from them and other plants into the national grid.
Additionally, the plants are better situated for adequate gas supply in view of the rich gas deposit in the eastern axis; gas transmission infrastructure to the plants have also been reportedly completed earlier in anticipation of their commissioning.
Following from this, a technical meeting between Rockson Engineering and relevant agencies of the government was on Tuesday convened in Abuja to ascertain the status of the projects as well as concrete completion commitment from the contractor.
The meeting which was held at the instance of the Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP) was attended by technical officials from the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Ltd (NDPHC), ministry of power and Rockson Engineering. It was chaired by the Chairman of PTFP, Beks Dagogo-Jack.
Dagogo-Jack explained after the meeting, that it had become necessary to fix deadlines in the light of obvious threats to government’s power supply projection plans, which slippages in the projects’ completion represent.
He informed that because of such slippages, a reasonable 1,000MW of additional power from the plants were not coming to the national grid, adding that the government has in its wisdom pressed Rockson Engineering to submit a concrete completion timeline to it within two weeks and which it must follow with due diligence.
“The Presidential Task Force on Power called a meeting today which we consider to be a very critical meeting in anticipation of resolving some project issues that we consider very crucial to the power projects that we have made going forward.
You will realise that most of the eastern generation projects were given to a single contractor sometimes back before the advent of this administration but government is a continuum and we have to manage the project and deliver to the Nigerian people,” Dagogo Jack said.
He further noted that: “We have realised that these projects must be delivered with a certain degree of certainty in terms of time so that we can depend on that certainty in making projection, so this meeting was essentially to drive for that certainty and extract commitment from that contractor who is Rockson Engineering.
Dagogo-Jack gave details of the deliberations saying: “In our deliberations with the contractor, we had the owner of the projects and their top project managers and consultant and of course the technical team of the PTFP and so it was a full blown technical evaluation meeting.
Also yesterday, Vice-President Namadi Sambo directed consortium on the Kaduna 215MW power plant to complete the project before the end of the year.
He gave the directive at a meeting with the project consortium made up of the consultants, the Ministry of Power, Ministry of Transport and contractors.
He requested for a detailed programme of work for the project, saying it was to ensure that the project was commissioned on schedule.
Sambo also frowned at requests made by the consortium for variation of optional items outside the scope of work and urged the ministry of power to conclude the arrangement for the fuel storage tank.
The vice president directed Rockson Engineering, one of the companies in the consortium, to provide their records of procurements for the balance of plant (BoP) as well as schedule of deliveries and commence without delay, the civil works and construction for the storage tank, while calling for a schedule of completion of alignment of the turbines from General Electric (GE).
Sambo expressed satisfaction with the report presented by the Minister of Transport on the construction of railway tracks that would connect the rail with the power plant for easy transportation of fuel from source.
He also noted the challenges faced by the consortium at the site and directed them to sort out all issues and report back within two weeks.
Those issues according to him, were the eight turbines alignment, storage tank, electrical control system, project delivery and additional works.
The consultant of the project, Messrs Stiag Ecotec West Africa, while presenting its report, also noted that Skipper, the contractor to the substation, had progressed well and that work was currently at 82 per cent level of completion.
The report stated that the main scope of work was progressing within acceptable time limits but that the contract variation within the 33kv injection substation and the outgoing feeders had been evaluated with recommendations forwarded to the Ministry of Power for contract award.
He noted that the project provided for the change in scope from the brown field site to the present green field location.
Earlier, the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, noted that the construction of rail tracks to the project site was an addendum to the western line rehabilitation exercise and that the length of the works was 3.8 kilometres, while the completion design had been done and awaiting approval within two weeks.
He added that the contractor for the project had moved to site and given a period of eight months within which they would complete the work but the ministry was still asking for a six months delivery period. He assured that in the next three weeks he would be in Kaduna for the ground-breaking ceremony.
The contractor consisting of GE and Rockson Engineering solicited early approval of their request for an additional fuel storage tank, was forwarded to the Ministry of Power for consideration to compliment their schedule of project delivery.
Present at the meeting were the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo and his Minister of State Hon. Mohammed Wakil as well as the ministry’s permanent secretary Amb. Godknows Igali, representatives of the GE and Rockson Engineering, the consultant to the project and Skipper, the substation contractors as well as other top government officials.
– This Day