In what is the second wave of privatisation of the nation’s power assets, the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs), one of which was commissioned on Thursday, will be privatised between now and first quarter (Q1) of next year, President Goodluck Jonathan has said.
Speaking at the commis sioning of the 434 megawatts (MW) capacity Geregu II power plant in Kogi State, the president described the successful completion of the plant as government’s efforts to provide regular electricity in the country. While disclosing that the government would be com- missioning more power plants in the next few months, Jona- than said, “It is gratifying to note that the NIPP projects were stalled for two years when the Revenue Mobilisation, Al- location and Fiscal Commis- sion took the Federal Govern- ment to court over deduction from the excess crude account for the NIPPs. We are celebrat- ing this today, but not without lots of challenges. At a time, the road was not able to carry the turbines. There were no prop- erly planned gas infrastructure programme as well as land issues with the communities.”
He noted that with the handover of certificates to the new owners of the successor generation companies (Gen- cos) and distribution com-panies (Discos) of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) on Monday, the power sector reform is on course. “The NIPPs we are com- missioning will be privatised between now and first quarter of next year. The hope that one day we will have stable power supply is gradually becoming a reality, with the successful privatisation of the Gencos and Discos”, he said.
Also speaking at the event, Chinedu Nebo, minister of power, stated that the power plant was constructed to bridge the gap in electricity supply in Nigeria. He described Geregu II as one of the 10 NIPPs which shows a clear manifestation of government’s commitment to the power sector.
“Power generation has im- proved in the country with the contribution of the NIPPs contributing 1,600 MW to the national grid,” he said.
Nebo added that efforts were already being made by the Federal Government to carry out maintenance and overhaul of the privatised power plants.
“We see the handover of licences of PHCN assets to the new owners as the beginning of new things where everyone will have ac- cess to regular electricity. As the private sector takes over, the government will provide friendly environment.”
The Geregu II power plant was constructed by Siemens Nigeria Limited under the super- vision of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC). NDPHC, owner of the NIPPs, recently announced the decision to sell 80 percent in the 10 power plants, which was informed by government’s intention to involve private sector operators who have the technical know-how to run the plants in an efficient manner.
The NIPP generation port- folio comprises 10 gas-fired power plants with a combined design capacity in excess of 5,453MW at ISO conditions and 4,774MW (net) with each of the power plants incorporated as a subsidiary company of NDPHC. The 10 generation plants include Gbarain (225MW), Ihovbor (450MW), Omotosho (500MW), Egbema (338MW), Omoku (250MW), Geregu (434MW), Calabar (561MW), Ogorode (Sapele 450MW), Alaoji (1,074MW), and Olo- runsogo (750MW).