25 November 2016, Sweetcrude, Uyo, Akwa Ibom — The Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited, NDPHC, owners of National Integrated Power Project, NIPP, has commissioned the 330kV Switching Station located in Essien Udim / Ikot Ekpene LGA of Akwa Ibom State.
The commissioning witnessed by the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency, Mr Moses Frank Ekpo, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, His Excellency, Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer NDPHC, Mr Chiedu Ugbo, Executive Director, Finance and Administration, NDPHC, Mallam Babayo Shehu and other dignitaries across the country has boosted transmission capacity of the country.
Ugbo listed the components of the facilities that was commissioned to include:
1. The 35KM 330kV Alaoji Substation to Ikot-Ekpene Substation Double Circuit line to evacuate power from NIPP Alaoji Power Plant
2. The 70.3KM 330kV Double Circuit line from Calabar to Ikot Ekpene to evacuate power from NIPP Calabar Power Plant.
3. The 162km 330kV Double Circuit line to evacuate all power arriving from Ikot Ekpene switching Station to the grid at Ugwuaji,
4. The 12 circuit Ikot Ekpene 330kV Switching Station will serve as the central switching hub for receiving generated power from four generating locations at Alaoji, Afam, Calabar and Ikot-Abasi respectively.
Statement issued by the General Manager, Communications and Public Relations of NDPHC, Mr Yakubu Lawal quoted Ugbo as saying that the switching Station will wheel all the power to the grid via the 330kV Double Circuit lines to Ugwuaji, New Haven and the rest of the grid connecting Makurdi and Jos in the north central zone of the country.
According to him, though the projects started in 2006 with disruption of NIPP funding in 2008 and numerous community and way-leave issues some of which dragged into protracted court cases, but the strong support of the Federal Government paved the way for the completion and commissioning of the project.
“The robust interventions of NDPHC Management with strong support and assistance from both our Board Chairman, His Excellency, The Vice President and the Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing are reasons why we have been able to successfully tackle those issues to make the projects available now for commissioning and use by the Nigerian Electricity Support Industry” he said.
“When fully completed, Ikot-Ekpene 330kV Switching Station and these lines will jointly become a 2,400MW evacuation facility addition to the grid” – He pointed out that the current completion level at the switching station has a 1,200MW capability in place.
“The NIPP generating stations of Calabar and Alaoji with a combined installed capacity of over 1,100MW are now connected through this corridor to the grid”
The Managing Director stressed that the Switching Station and the interconnecting lines potent three critical benefits to the entire transmission networks in the country. These includes:
– increased reliability of the national grid as other heavily loaded lines will be relieved and made more stable as more paths will be available for power in the face of contingencies.
– more exchanges between parties in our energy market will now become possible due to availability of new transmission paths
– the lack of generation in the north will now be alleviated leading to a more equitable distribution of energy for the Nigerian people.
NDPHC under the current management recently signed Partial Risk Guarantee Pact between the Federal Government, World Bank and Seven Energy in Abuja to facilitate operation at its Calabar Power Station.
In his remark, Mr Fashola said all the power plants in the Eastern Region have combined capacity of 1,846MW comprising of 561MW Calabar, 450MW in Alaoji, 185MW Ibom power and 650MW Afam VI which before now were producing 100MW each for the first three power plants mentioned and 300MW for the Afam VI power plant, all totalling 600MW. With the commissioning of Ikot Ekpene Switching Station, there will be incremental output until full capacity is available to add an extra 1,246MW to the grid.
The minister commended the management of NDPHC who midwived the project and the focused dedication of Mr Ugbo and his team for this great success.
The Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency, Mr. Ekpo who represented the Governor, His Excellency, Udom Emmanuel commended the Federal Government for completing this strategic project in the State.
Mr Ekpo enumerated some key power/gas projects being executed by the State Government and pleaded with the Federal Government to step down the power at the switching station with the installation of transformers to enable the state and surrounding communities benefit from the project.