Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The Senate Committee on Gas has decried the level of work at the €135.8million Kaduna 215MW and insisted that the plant cannot be inaugurated in January 2018 as planned by the Federal Ministry of Power.
The committee, during an inspection of the site in Kaduna, heard that the Letter of Credit (LC) to the tune of €135.8 million for the purchase of the Power Control Module for the plant has not be properly funded.
Members of the committee also observed that there was no Liquified Natural Gas (Gas) on site or fire fighting equipment and facilities on ground.
Led by its Chairman, Senator Bassey Akpan, members queried the haste by the ministry to inaugurate the plant in January, when it is obviously not ready for use.
They particularly queried the decision to power the plant with diesel and Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO), when it was designed for Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), which they described as a cheaper and environmentally safer option.
Bassey expressed displeasure with the level of work at the site.
“GE (General Electric) already said their warranty does not cover the use of the turbines without fire equipment being in place. It is stipulated in the contract, as required before start up. The manufacturer’s advice must be followed,” he said.
“Why is the ministry in a hurry to inaugurate, without recourse to the highest safety standards,” he said, adding that the ministry should not even be considering firing up a turbine without fire equipment.”
Bassey said the Senate is concerned at the decision to use diesel, as it is driving the usage of domestic gas which would create jobs, instead of importing LPFO and diesel.
“These should be secondary sources, instead of primary sources as they are trying to make it,” Bassey warned.
Senator Adesoji Akanbi queried why only three transformers were at the plant, when the contract stipulated four units.
He also noted that the decision of the power ministry to begin the use of the turbines with diesel, instead of LNG, which they are designed for, could open the nation up to litigation.
“Some persons somewhere are interested in commissioning this project hastily. We have waited this long, we must ensure all safety measures are on ground. If something happens when the turbine is started, it could lead to loss of the entire investments,” Akanbi said.
Other members of the committee include Senator Foster Ogola and Danjuma Lar.
The project engineer from the ministry, Mr. Ekanem Effiong, told the lawmakers that the sum of N386 million was spent to procure two extra storage tanks outside those included in the initial contract.
He disclosed that the LC (for Power Control Module) has been funded to the tune of €4.2 million, while the balance is being expected to be funded in the 2018 budget.
Meanwhile the committee has invited all vendors who have indicated interested to supply gas to the plant.
They include Greenville LNG, Sahara Energy, Oando Oil and Gas, Gaslink, NIPCO, One nation energy and others.