Esther Ajibola – Lagos
The management of Nigeria’s largest power generation company, Egbin Power Plc, is increasing both technical and engineering works to generate power at installed capacity before end of this month.
The management also reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring the power plant increases its electricity generation capacity by 100 per cent in 2019, to actualise its vision of enhancing the country’s economic growth and development.
Speaking with journalists shortly after the induction of 39 the Sahara Group Graduate Engineering Programme (GEP), at the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria, (NAPTIN), in Lagos yesterday, Mr Kola Adesina, chief executive officer, CEO, of Sahara Group, said Egbin would deliver 1,320 megawatts of electricity to the national grid before end of February.
He however expressed the concerns about transmission evacuation limitation which may result in difficulties pushing out the volume of power from the plant to the grid network.
Adesina said the management has deployed all necessary tools to actualise this target,disclosing that at the moment the plant was generating over 800MW despite gas supply hiccups.
He said while the company was sustaining its operations, there was urgent need for government to offset debt owed generation companies as well as review electricity tariff to make the industry competitive.
According to him, government was still owing the industry about N100 billion, but he commended the present administration of being sensitive to the plight of operators by making committed efforts to offset the debt, through the payment assurance scheme.
He further reaffirmed plans by the management to double the plant’s capacity to about 3,000 MW from its current 1,320 MW. “We are planning to raise the plants’ capacity by additional 1,900 MW to the existing 1320MW to reach above 3,000 MW this year. “We have started a plan now to double the capacity of the plant as well as implement a programme to make Egbin an industrial hub where companies can come in and set up their factories knowing that their businesses will be powered effectively and efficiently,” he stated.
It will be recalled that prior to its privatisation, Egbin Power plant was in a deplorable situation, generating about 500MW. The plant before then did not undergo any major overhaul as the six units were not functional and in particular the unit 6 which was not working for 10 years. The company plans to invest $1.2 billion for the capacity upgrade which is expected to be completed between 2019- 2020. The promoters of the power plant has invested substantially (over $400 million) in the plant since take over transforming the asset which is now operating at over 88 per cent with Unit-06 returned to full original operational service.