Kainji Hydro Power Plant
By Chineme Okafor
Nigeria’s foremost hydro power plant, Kainji Hydro Power Plant is still generating power below its installed capacity, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the plant, Mr. Reuben Akinwunmi, has said.
Akinwunmi disclosed this to a delegation of national good governance tour of projects across the country which was led by the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, to the plant.
He said with an installed capacity of 760 megawatts (MW), Kainji currently generates just about 250MW.
According to a statement from the press secretary in the ministry, Joseph Mutah, Akinwunmi explained that only one unit of the eight units of turbines installed at the plant was overhauled in the past 44 years, adding that two out of the four set of machines installed at the plant are not functional while the remaining two operate far below their installed capacities.
He however stated that a loan of $81 million had been secured from the World Bank to overhaul the power generating units of the plant and that work on the first phase of the rehabilitation project which comprises overhaul of its three units commenced in May 2012 and is expected to restore 220MW of electricity when completed.
The CEO equally noted that when work is completed on the second phase which is expected in the last quarter of 2014, the plant’s installed capacity of 760MW would have been restored.
Accordingly, the delegation also visited the Shiroro hydro power plant where it learnt that contract for the overhaul of its two generating units has been signed as part of routine maintenance efforts to sustain power supply at the 600MW installed capacity plant.
Acting CEO of the power plant, Mr. Ugochukwu Chioke, stated that two out of the plant’s four generating units were overhauled earlier in March 2012, while scheduled overhaul work on the remaining two units is expected to commence in line with its maintenance schedule in every five years.
Chioke said each of the four generating units of the plant currently operates at installed capacity of 150MW, adding that the plant attains peak generation capacity between August and December when the volume of water in the dam increases.
“When the volume of water at the Shiroro Dam reaches its peak between August and December every year, the four generating units operate simultaneously to generate 600 megawatts of electricity but under normal circumstances, two of the units run at the installed capacity of 300 megawatts to give room for routine maintenance.
“And when there is system failure in the power grid, the four generating units become active to augment the shortfall in power supply in the country.
“Shiroro Hydro-electric Plc currently provides two lines of 230 KV each for Jebba, Kaduna and Abuja,” Chioke said.
In his overall assessment, Maku noted that Kainji was a sad story of neglect and lack of maintenance for a long period of time.
He explained that such was unacceptable under the present administration, adding that President Goodluck Jonathan is set to reverse the trend by investing in the power plant to restore its full capacity.
Maku also lauded Shiroro as an example of efficiency and good maintenance culture and urged the workers to keep it up.