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HomeAbia State DiaryFROM GEOMETRIC TO ALAOJI POWER PLANT, GOV OTTI PUSHES AHEAD FOR STABLE...

FROM GEOMETRIC TO ALAOJI POWER PLANT, GOV OTTI PUSHES AHEAD FOR STABLE ELECTRICITY IN ABIA

 

Having literally solved the problem of power generation and distribution in Aba and eight other local governments, through the Geometric Integrated Power Project, Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, OFR, has shifted his focus to the remaining eight local governments in the state, beginning from Umuahia, the state capital.

In a bold move to achieve uninterruptible power supply across the state, Governor Otti on Tuesday embarked on a tour of the Alaoji Power Generating Plant at Alaoji, Ugwunagbo Local Government Area, on the outskirts of Aba.

The Alaoji Power Plant, a 1,074MW combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT), has been developed in multiple phases. It boasts of four GE Frame 9E Gas Turbines of 126MW, each, and two GE Steam Turbines of 286MW, each.

The project is being developed by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) under the Federal Government’s National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) programme. The first phase of the power plant, which saw the completion of the four gas-powered Turbines, was commissioned in 2015 by former President Goodluck Jonathan. Work is currently ongoing on the additional two Steam Turbines, which will bring the plant’s total capacity to 1,074MW.

Speaking during his visit to the power station in company of the Chairman of Chrome Group, Chief Emeka Offor, whose company is the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor to the plant, Governor Otti said his administration was committed to facilitating the Alaoji Power project’s execution by providing necessary support and resources.

He acknowledged the huge potential that the project holds in the economic, social and infrastructural development of Abia State, in particular, and Nigeria as a country, when fully completed and becomes operational.

The Governor observed that the plant was not currently generating any power, a situation blamed on unavailability of gas by the operators. He, however, expressed optimism that the challenges would be resolved soon, assuring that his government would do everything possible to ensure the success of the project.

“At the moment, my understanding is that the plant is not generating any power because of gas issues, which I believe would be solved shortly, but I think the more fundamental issue is that the capacity is very low.

“From what I gathered from the consortium clearly, the capacity could be expanded from anywhere between 45 megawatts to one thousand and seventy two megawatts.

“We will do everything possible to ensure that this happens.

“They have given us a timeline that anywhere between 18 and 24 months that maximum capacity would be achieved, and my plea to them is that since we have virtually solved the Aba power needs, that the first set of power that will be generated from here would be transmitted to Umuahia and distributed through the EEDC (Enugu Electricity Distribution Company), which luckily is controlled by the Chrome Group, too, and I have gotten approval and understanding (from Emeka Offor) that that would happen,” the Governor said.

To accelerate the pace of work at the plant site, Governor Otti immediately directed the Mayor of Ugwunagbo LGA, Chief Emeka Ihesiaba, to liaise with the Commissioner for Works, to provide easier access to the site. He noted that the move would facilitate the smooth transportation of materials and equipment to the site.

“The whole idea is that a lot of materials and machines are already at Onne Port, evacuating them into this yard will be a tall order.

“You can see how we rigmaroled to get to this place, but this is quite close to the express, if we give them access, it would be easier for them to deliver on the contract they have and the other seven or eight local governments that are not covered by the existing IPP project and then to other parts of the country because I believe that this goes also to the national grid”, Otti said.

Governor Otti emphasised the importance of prioritising the transmission of power to areas in need, particularly highlighting the significance of delivering electricity to Umuahia and the other eight local governments of the state not captured by the Geometric Power Plant.

He commended the efforts of the Chrome Group and its Chairman, Sir Emeka Offor, for their dedication to ensuring the success of the project which centers on enhancing the capacity of the Alaoji power generating plant.

Speaking, Sir Emeka Offor stressed the importance of collaboration between the public and private sectors in driving sustainable development and expressed gratitude to Governor Otti for his unwavering support and commitment to the project.

He highlighted the potential benefits the project holds for the people of Abia State, which, according to him, include uninterrupted power supply, employment opportunities, among others, adding that with the support of government, the project would be delivered on schedule.

“This project is all about enhancing the power supply and knowing that the Governor is interested in making sure that Abia people enjoy power 24/7.

“The people of Abia will benefit enormously from the project. They are going to enjoy surplus power. You heard the Governor saying he wants part of this power to be sent to Umuahia directly. That is possible. The effects will trickle down to the people. The people of Abia State are going to enjoy,” Offor assured.

 

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