15 June 2016, Benin City — To expand its capacity to generate more electricity in Nigeria, the management of Sapele power plant has said it has put all machinery in place to recover the plant’s installed capacity of 1,020MW and inject new generation capacity of 1,000MW within the next five years.
The Sapele power plant which was built between 1978 and 1982 has installed capacity of 1,020MW but presently generates 150MW before it was privatised in February 2014 and sold to a private company, Eurafric Group.
The Managing Director (Down Stream) of the plant, Mr. Onoriode Odjeba, who made the disclosure during a stakeholders’ workshop with host communities in Sapele, said the expansion would come in two formats: recovery of installed capacity and introduction of new generation capacity.
He said the management of the power plant, being the second largest power plant built before it was privatised, has a plan to inject an additional 1000MW in the next five years in addition to refurbishing of selected turbines of 300MW as well as purchase of new gas’s turbine to bring an addition 900MW of its lost capacity.
Odjeba further disclosed that one of the means they intend to achieve this capacity expansion would be the installation of gas turbine on badges.
While thanking God that the new owners (Eurafric Group) are prepared to improve the generation output of the plant, he pointed out that “our gathering here today is for the communities/stakeholders to be briefed on the expansion plans of the company.”
Given an account of the various expansion projects the power station plans to carry out such as Social and Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA), Odjeba said expansion cannot materialise if the host communities are not carried along on their role in the EIA and what the company intends doing.
For instance, he noted that the objectives behind reassessment was to quantitatively and qualitatively evaluate the anticipated impacts of the proposed activities on the environment, health and social wellbeing of the host communities, to look at recommended ameliorating and mitigating measures in order to eliminate or minimise the identified adverse impacts if any, and evolve a robust and fit for a purpose environmental management and monitoring plans to ensure compliance with statutory laws as well as sustainability of the plant.
Speaking at the event, the representative of Delta State Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Emeka Onyetenu, said the purpose of the workshop should be well spelt out to enable him to have a concise report to submit to the Commissioner.
On his part, the Secretary, Sapele/Okpe Community, Dr. Ebuerie Maxwell, who represented the Chairman Sapele/Okpe community, expressed his delight at the proposed expansion programme by Sapele Power Plc.
*Adibe Emenyonu – Thisday