FG eyes 1,268MW from new eight power plants

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The Federal Government is expecting 1,268 megawatts of power from the concession and development of eight brown and green field hydropower projects constructed through public private partnerships.

It was gathered that three of the power projects were already given to concessionaires, while the Federal Executive Council had approved the concession of another of the power projects.

In a February 2024 document obtained from the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation in Abuja on Friday by our correspondent, it was observed that while three of the hydropower projects had been completed, the remaining five were in various stages of completion.

The document was presented to the National Council on Water Resources and Sanitation at its 30th regular meeting by the Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utsev.

The country has been struggling with poor power generation and supply, as electricity firms generate and distribute between 3,000MW and 4,000MW for a population of over 200 million people.

The abysmal electricity supply situation grew worse since January this year after suppliers of gas to gas-fired thermal power plants stopped supplying the product to the plants due to the $1.3bn debt of the electricity generating plants.

To ameliorate the crisis, the Federal Government has been investing in hydropower plants that do not use gas, but are run by water-powered turbines.

The water resources minister, in the latest presentation from his ministry, stated that there had been tremendous progress in the brown and green field hydropower development through public private partnerships.

“We have conclusively concessioned some projects while still developing others through various PPP models itemised as follows: concession of the 40MW Dadinkowa Hydropower Project in Gombe State. We have attained financial closure and the plant is operational, thereby, stabilising the transmission voltage of the North-East of Nigeria.

“Concession of the 30MW Gurara Hydropower Plant in Kaduna State up to financial closure and the plant, which is under rehabilitation will commence commercial operation in the third quarter of the year 2024.

“Concession of the 40MW Kashimbila Hydropower Plant in Taraba State. The Federal Executive Council approval has been secured, the concession agreement executed and the commencement fee paid by the concessionaire to the special concession account as approved by the Federal Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning,” Utsev said.

Outlining other projects, the minister said, “Development of 360MW Gurara Phase II Hydropower Project in Niger State (engineering, procurement and construction contract awarded and FEC approval for the concession of operation and maintenance of the power plant through PPP model secured).

“Development of 136 MW Manya and 182MW Bawaku Hydropower Projects in Taraba and Benue states respectively. This is at the procurement stage and ready to proceed to the Request for Proposal stage.

“Development of 460MW Katsina-Ala Hydropower Project in Benue. This is also at the procurement stage; proceeding to the request for proposal stage/negotiation with the proponent.

“Development of 20MW Farin Ruwa Hydropower Plant Project in Nasarawa State. Advertisement of request for qualification has been placed in the Federal Tenders Journal and national newspapers for value for money to the government.”

Aside from giving the power plants to concessionaires, in a bid to grow the country’s electricity output, the Federal Government had also been making efforts to sell some power plants to raise funds and boost power production.

For instance, on January 24, 2024, it was exclusively reported that the Federal Government, through the Bureau of Public Enterprises, was carrying out transactions for the sale of five power plants under the National Integrated Power Projects for about $1.15bn.

The report stated that though sources familiar with the development explained that the cost of the plants should exceed $5bn based on international benchmarks, they revealed that the BPE was planning to sell the facilities at a price that was a little above $1.1bn

The acting Director-General, BPE, Ignatius Ayewoh, had confirmed to our correspondent in a brief telephone conversation that “the transaction is ongoing,” adding that “it is not concluded”.

The BPE boss did not disclose the cost for the five plants, as he stated that he was in a meeting and would not be able to give additional details at the time.

However, impeccable sources at the bureau had named the five power plants to include the 434 megawatts gas-fired Geregu II power plant, located in Kogi; 451MW Omotosho II plant in Ondo; and 750MW Olorunshogo II plant in Ogun State.

Others include the 563MW Odukpami power plant in Calabar, Cross River State; and the 451MW Benin-Ihovbor plant in Edo State.

It was gathered that the Omotosho plant, which has four power-generating turbines, would be sold at about $85m; while the Olorunsogo NIPP with also four turbines would cost $170m.

Source: The Punch

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