10 years after, Egbin power plant hits full capacity
… Mulls strategic gas supply from oil firms
IT was a cheering news for electricity consumers at the weekend, when the Chairman of Egbin Power Plc, Kola Adesina, declared that the nation’s largest power plant has reached its full capacity of 1320 Mega Watts (MW).
The power plant, located in the outskirt of Ikorodu, Lagos State, has been near partially incapacitated since two of its six power units collapsed about 10 years ago.
Adesina told journalists at the weekend that the company spent about N50 billion to revamp the unit six (ST-06) to add 220MW and eventually takes the power plant to its full capacity.
However, the company has commenced arrangements with some oil and gas firms to exploit some gas fields that are closer to the plant for feedstock and limit the risk of gas pipeline vandalism.
Adesina further stated that the company is currently working relentlessly to inject massive investment into transmission and gas supply, to create a smooth value chain for it to operate.
A separate statement obtained from the company stated: “Egbin is working closely with KEPCO to embark on achieving its vision of attaining 2,670MW by 2017 and total capacity of over 10,000MW in the next decade, if demand permits.
“To ensure that this is achieved, plans have been put in place for continuing capital investments as well as robust human capital development initiatives that will involve exchange programmes and training courses for all cadres of staff in Egbin.”
Adesina continued that their approach is significantly different from that of the public sector in many ways. “For us, we put our money where our mouth is. In other to generate electricity, we know that the value chain is weak in certain respect and what we are doing is to make massive investment, not just in generation, but to also support government in transmission and gas supply, such that we have developed a very unique model of recovering our investments.”
On vandalism that has limited gas supply to the plant, Adesina said the company is working on sophisticated technology to curb the menace, adding that it is also working with some oil and gas development partners to develop some gas fields that are closer to the plant and exploit them through a shorter route.
“We are currently in conversation with quite a number of oil firms around Lagos for gas supply,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Power, Chinedu Nebo told stakeholders in Egbin at the weekend, that the Federal Government is committed to support the private firms to grow capacity at all the power plants across the country.
Giving reference to the privatization programme, he said the government might not be able to meet the huge investment required to revamp the plant, but the private sector had decided to take the bull by the horn.
“If you think of what it really cost to get a new 220MW on stream, it is extremely expensive to do that. Egbin power plant has done marvelously well in trying to regain the capacity that was lost several years ago. The sixth turbine has been out of operation for nearly 10 years.
“The government having owned this facility for all these years did not have the resources to revamp it because the amount of money that was put in by the new private operate, the Federal Government could not have mustered that kind of money just for one power plant.
“This 220 MW is just the beginning for Egbin, the company has committed to double the capacity by the end of 2017 and they will continue to do that until it reaches about 10,000MW within a decade,” he stated.
The Chief Executive Officer, Egbin Power Plc, Mike Uzoigwe, said the beautiful thing about the situation was that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“Amid transmission and gas supply challenges which are critical to this power station, we have grown it to the maximum capacity and we are going forward. We are also doing the overhaul of all the units that are running and that will guarantee the reliability of the plant,” he said.
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