Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
Delta State Government on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with an American company, Alpha Energy and Electric Inc., for the generation of 500 megawatts (MW) of electricity through public- private partnership.
The MoU was signed on behalf of the state government by the Secretary to State Government (SSG), Mr. Festus Ovie Agas, witnessed by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and some members of the state executive council.
Okowa said at the ceremony at the Government House, Asaba, that the development of the Independent Power Plants (IPP) was designed to boost the energy capacity of the state in the light of the increasing power needs of investors and businesses in the state, noting that power was invaluable for investments and industrialisation to thrive.
Thursday’s signing of the MoU for a new IPP is coming as a relief in Delta State as the N23.2 billion state IPP project in Oghara, Ethiope West Local Government Area, had run into a hitch.
A recent visit to the moribund project site at Oghara by the Delta State House of Assembly team showed that there was nothing seriously on ground after the project, awarded to a local construction company, Davenotch, had gulped over N19 billion.
THISDAY learnt that apart from the perimeter fencing, about three small buildings and a gantry, there was nothing to show for the project, which was expected to ease the state’s energy problem by adding about 138 MW of electricity when it commenced in 2009.
Okowa said: “This MoU we are signing today is for the development, design, financing, construction and maintenance of multiple power production plants in multiple locations in the state. As a state we are ready to give the necessary assistance and co-operation to enable your company succeed because the power generated in the country is very low and we need to boost it to meet the power needs of our industries and attract investors to the state so as to impact on our economy and create employment.
“President Buhari has promised to improve energy generation in the country to 10,000 MWA by 2018, so this partnership will enable us contribute our quota to achieve the president’s energy goal while investors will get high yield for their investment.”
The governor said the state government would partner with credible investors to develop the economy, create employment for the youths and improve the state’s infrastructure stressing that “the state has vast untapped a deposit of natural gas, land and friendly environment which investors can put into use.”
He assured the company of government’s support and the necessary investment friendly environment to enable the IPP project succeed and charged them to commence work as soon as possible.
Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of Alpha Energy and Electric Inc., Mr. Ike Nwabuonwu, explained that the company was in the state to develop and maintain multiple power production plants in multiple locations in the state to generate 500MWA of electricity, disclosing that they were keying into the Obama Power Initiative For Africa to contribute their quota to the improvement of power in the country using various energy sources.
“The MoU is to design, develop, finance, construct, operate and maintain multiple power production plants in multiple locations in Delta State of Nigeria. It is estimated to be up to 500 megawatts. This 500 megawatts will be executed in phases; the first phase is estimated to be for up to 150 megawatts,” Nwabuonwu said.
He assured the governor that the project would also create employment opportunities for the teeming youths as well as boost the economy of the state.