Port Harcourt Refinery
The Federal Government has taken a major step to revive the ailing Port Harcourt Refining Company Limited (PHRC), Nigeria’s biggest refinery, with the signing of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Genesis Electricity Limited (GEL).
The 210, 000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery has been out of operation due to damage on some of its vital units, caused by epileptic power supply. The PPA, aims among others, to provide uninterrupted supply of 84 megawatts (mw) of electricity for the running of the plant.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GEL, Mr. Akinwole Omoboriowo, disclosed to THISDAY at the weekend in Abuja that the signing of an agreement with US-based General Electric (GE) Energy was for the generation and supply of 84mw of electricity to PHRC for the next 20 years.
He said the deal would require the US Company to supply and install three gas powered turbines in PHRC within the next six months. The TM2500+ turbine, which has the capacity to generate 23.4 mw is part of the latest technology developed by GE.
Omoboriowo said: “The NNPC has given us the opportunity to light up the Port Harcourt Refinery, which is the biggest in sub Saharan Africa. GE has also agreed to partner with us by making available their technology, their knowledge and expertise to us.
“The agreement we have signed with GE will deploy one of the most tested gas turbine technologies to provide uninterrupted power supply to the refinery for 20 years; for us is a big milestone in our journey to light up Africa and NNPC has brought us together for the good of the country.”
He said governments should not be involved in the generation of power because it is capital intensive and complex, but should actively get involved in incentivising the environment for private investments.
“The world over, what is obtainable is for government to lay down the policies and create the enabling environment for private companies to invest. I am glad that we are now doing the right thing and hopefully very soon we will get to where we all want to be”, he said.
But the Regional Sales Director, Middle East and Africa for GE Energy, Mr. Cees-Jan De Maaker, said the turbines were designed to fast track power to areas of need. He also pledged the company’s commitment to developing the power sector in Nigeria.
He added that all equipments required for the completion of the project, including the turbines are expected to be in Nigeria by December this year, while all installation work would be completed by March 2013.
According to him, GE will also provide all the needed training for personnel required to operate and manage the turbines, at the same time providing guarantee on their functionality.
“For this particular project at the refinery, we are using our TM2500+ turbines, which generates 23.4 megawatts of power; so we are very delighted to have Genesis as partners, they have come from far in developing projects and we are honoured to have them as customers and we know how critical this is to bring electricity to the refinery. We are targeting a final project delivery date of March 2013”, he said.
But providing clarification on the tariff rate chargeable on the refinery in the PPA, Omoboriowo said a very low tariff that is very economical to the refinery has been worked out, and explained that the tariff is low in comparison with the regular tariff charged on domestic electricity users by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
“It is sufficient for you to know that the refinery will be getting this reliable power supply at a very cheap rate; we have contracted a very low tariff and what will be charged will be very low compared to what you pay to PHCN,” he said.