Government gives reasons for concessioning Kainji hydro power plant
From Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) came the revelation that the Federal government has no option but to concession the Kainji Hydro Power plant for failing to generate its 760 installed capacity of electricity to national grid.
The Kainji hydro Power Plant concession was granted to Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited, with estimated cost of $418.5 million in February 2013 for 30 years.
The contract agreement stated that Mainstream was to operate, restore and maintain the power plant in such a way as to increase the available capacity of the plant
The Director-General of the ICRC, Aminu Diko, made the disclosure in Kainji, Niger State, during an inspection visit to the Dam in company staff of the Bureau of Public Enterprises and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission as part of ongoing monitoring and compliance inspection visits embarked upon by the Commission.
Diko stressed the need for the concessionaires of the plant, Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited to develop a work plan for their operations.
He said it was important to see in clear terms, the work done and how close they are to meeting their set target.A statement from the commission signed by the Acting Head of Media,Deborah Chimwe Okafor, quoted the ICRC Director-General as saying,”Power issue is very sensitive in this country and Kainji Hydro Power Plant is one of the oldest in the country, yet its supply has been epileptic.
“Theessence of our coming here is to find out if the Concessionaire is keeping to his end of the bargain to invest financially in the facility and bringit to its full capacity of 760mw”.
Meanwhile, the Chief Engineer, Kainji Hydro Power Plant, Jose Villegas has projected that the power plant would be able to generate 490 megawattsby the month of May.
Villegas said that although the plant was built to have a generation capacity of 760mw, it had never generated that much.
“In 2013 when we took over, the plant was only generating 101mw and only two of the eight installed turbines were working. In 2014 we were able toget three of the turbines working and were generating about 200mw, and in 2015 we had five functional turbines generating 440mw”.
But we had a fire incident on the plant and two turbines had to be shut down for now. As at Feb. 2016, we were generating 390mw and we plan to increase generation to 490mw by May”, he said.
Villegas said that since the takeover, new air blast technology and computer based maintenance technology had been installed. He said this wasto ensure efficient management of the facility. He said there was need for general overhaul of the power plant to seal up leakages and repair thedrainage systems. He said right now, the plant was not running at full economic capacity because initial plan of the plant showed available spacefor 12 turbines but only 8 was installed.
He further said the company was bringing in international experts to look into the possibility of having one or more turbine added to the plant toboost power generation. All in all, Villegas said the power plant should be able to generate 760mw from the available eight turbines by 2018.
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