Laleye Dipo in Minna
There are indications that the epileptic power supply in the country will improve soon following the completion of repairs on the fourth turbine of the Shiroro Hydro Dam in Niger State.
The turbine collapsed since 2010 and all efforts to bring it back on stream had failed until a few days back when work on it by engineers was completed.
With the completion of work on the turbine, it is expected that 150 megawatts of electricity would be added to the national grid which would consequently bring the total output from Shiroro dam to 600megawatts.
It was learnt that the repair on the turbine cost over $8.5million.
Confirming this yesterday, the Executive Vice Chairman of North South Power Company Limited, Mr. Olubunmi Peters, described the successful repair on the turbine as ‘a breakthrough,’ saying that the engineers who handled the project faced “enormous safety and technical challenges.”
Peters stated that the completion of the repairs was described as an engineering feat because the damage to the turbine occurred about 60 metres under zero visibility water and was therefore difficult to access for repair, adding that there were concerns about the possibility of further catastrophic failure to the entire dam.
The Executive Vice Chairman disclosed that an inauguration would soon be done by the Minister of Power, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola.
Shiroro Dam that was inaugurated in June 20, 1990 by General Ibrahim Babangida, had never had major any repair since its establishment.
The Assistant General Manager of Hydrology and Dam as well the team leader of the group, Mr. Isaac Akandi and the Managing Director of Power China Huadong Nigeria Ltd, Prof. Rao Jiangiang, promised the effectiveness of the work carried out and appreciated the federal government for the confidence reposed in them.
In the meantime, youths in the Shiroro dam area have given the management of the North South Power Company two weeks to improve its services or face their wrath.
The youths, numbering several hundreds, had protested, blocking the road leading to the dam site during which they complained about the non-payment of resettlement claims and poor supply electricity to their homes.
They later marched to Minna where they presented their petition to Governor Abubakar Sani Bello for presentation to President Muhammadu Buhari.