Minister endorses N11bn Jebba power turbine rehab project
By Simon Echewofun Sunday
The Minister of State, Power, Mr Goddy Jeddy-Agba has endorsed a $32 million turbine (N11.62 billion) rehabilitation project by Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited (MESL) at its Jebba hydropower plant in Niger State.
The minister gave the endorsement on Tuesday when he received a delegation from MESL, operators of the Kainji and Jebba hydropower plants, along with officials of the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of the turbine, Andritz Hydro GmbH.
Agba lauded the company for the turnaround of the plants since it took over the operation in 2013. He further assured that the government was ready for more partnerships and investments as MESL was striving to improve the plants without being prompted.
He said: “I want to assure you that on behalf of my colleague and I that the federal government will work to make the power sector viable and move forward, people friendly above all.”
The Managing Director of Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited (MESL), Engr. Lamu Audu said the Jebba Unit 2G6 turbine got burnt in 2009 under the defunct PHCN.
“As part of our capacity recovery programme, we are signing the agreement tomorrow (today) to rehabilitate it as part of our mandate on the power sector privatisation.”
The Jebba turbine project will cost 32 million dollars (N11 billion) in two years to add 96.4 megawatts (MW) capacity to the plant.
“We are sourcing for the funding through loans and again it will take about two years. The unit is supposed to come back in the second quarter of 2022 to the grid,” he noted.
Audu said MESL has recovered 468MW at Kainji and will be adding 80MW by October 2020 after ongoing recovery works on Unit 1G7 turbine at Kainji. Combined with the Jebba capacity, MESL will reach over 1,000MW capacity out of the 1,338MW total installed capacity of both plants.
“By the time we recover Unit 2G6, we will almost reach our limit and we will be focusing on expansion,” he added.
Engr. Audu said the federal government’s intervention of N600 billion and the previous N701 billion in the power sector was not sustainable. However he said the sector should be liberalised to encourage private investment.
“The more we are able to generate and sell power outside the single buyer model, government will be able to free up some of these contingent liabilities,” he advised.