…As seized €156m equipment stalls 245Mw power station
25 May 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, has said the Senate was disappointed with the uncertainty that now surrounded completion of installation works at the 245 Megawatts Kaduna Power Plant.
Officials of the Ministry of Power had informed the committee that vital equipment meant for the completion of the 245 Megawatts Kaduna Power Plant have been rotting away in Onne Port, Rivers State since early 2015 and that this has stalled effective take off of the power station.
The Committee was also informed that the contract for the Kaduna Power Plant project located at Kudenda, Kaduna State, was awarded to EPC Consortium on November 19, 2009, with completion set for the fourth quarter of 2017, which had now been shifted to the second quarter of 2018.
The upper chamber was also told that the 156 million Euros (about N54bn) power plant, which ought to have been completed since 2014, was fast becoming a white elephant project.
The Abaribe-led Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development, and Metallurgy was on tour of power installations in Kaduna as part of the committee’s oversight function.
According to Sen. Abaribe, “We are not pleased. If we are not careful, we may end up getting a white elephant project from this. Whatever this committee needs to do to get this project completed, we are ready to do.
“We will be interacting with the Minister of Power and his counterpart in the Ministry of Water Resources because the Gurara Dam is also part of the problem.”
Director of Distribution in the Ministry of Power, Mrs. Priscilla Sapke, said there were repeated appeals to the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Onne, Rivers State, but lamented that the plea fell on deaf ears.
According to her, NPA seized 19 containers with accessories critical to the installation of Kaduna Power Plant.
Sapke, who noted that several containers were initially seized by the NPA between 2012 and 2014, however, noted that a number of the containers were released to General Electric and Rockson Engineering, the contractors handling the plant, following the payment of 50 percent of an agreed demurrage.
The director, who did not give details of the exact amount paid by the companies, said: “The directive is that they (the NPA) should release government’s goods and talk later about commercial issues but they refused.”
Following the refusal, the project meant to last 24 months now has no definite date of completion, just as the Dual Fired LPFO/Gas215 MW Kaduna Power Plant, initiated in 2009 and initially meant to be completed in 2011, has also had its completion date shifted.
Officials of General Electric and Rockson Engineering, who were also at the site, told the committee that the project might be completed in November this year if the seized equipment were released without further delay.
In a related development, the Senate, yesterday, resolved to beam its searchlight on estimated billing by Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC, on residents of the Federal Capital Territory.
The Senate at plenary agreed to discuss the billing system of all distribution companies in Nigeria.
The decision of the Senate followed a motion moved by Senator Dino Melaye who relied on a point of order to accuse the AEDC of astronomical billing, saying the AEDC came to his residence and changed his prepaid meter to a new one, which they also came to remove three weeks later.
Melaye, who alleged that the company then placed his house on estimated billing, which is very astronomical and unfair, wondered how the ordinary Nigerian could afford such high rates.
In his remarks, the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over plenary, noted the complaint, saying the issue would be discussed at plenary today.