The Cross River Government has unveiled plans to build a two megawatts power plant across the 18 local government areas in the state.
The project, which is expected to boost electricity supply in all the councils on or before 2019 will be executed in partnership with a South African firm, Industrial Project Services (IPS).
Speaking during the project presentation at the conference room of the governor’s office, Calabar, Cross River governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, said: “I have 18 local government areas and it is my commitment to ensure that every local government area, every single village has electricity under my watch.”
The governor maintained that although it is a tall ambition, the projects will entail a combination of both renewable and nonrenewable energy sources, as the state is also “considering the option of using solar for the day and gas fire for the night.”
According to Ayade, “the radiation studies and baseline data for Nigeria covers copiously a spectrum of Cross River. Obviously the radiation that we see from literature studies shows clearly that we have high level of radiation and therefore making the applicability of solar as an energy source in the northern and central part of the state is very viable.”
The governor disclosed that “we are trying to have an industrial setting where we will actually be dealing with power supply and solar base systems to stranded communities, communities that are disconnected from national grid as well as some municipalities that have national grid.”
Reasoning that the choice of IPS was on the basis of its history, Ayade averred: “This will be the first solar power project to be undertaken in the South-South of Nigeria at commercial scale,” adding that “once this succeeds, it means that we would have opened the door to the real big market of Africa which is the Nigerian market and if you have the Nigerian market, Africa will simply follow.”
The governor added that “this is not going to be on the roof, you are going to have a solar farm with about two or three hectares depending on the size, powered into the facilities to generate electricity to the LGAs and help us get 24 hours of electricity in all 18 LGAs before 2019.”
Earlier, representative of the firm, Mark Philips, said having embarked on similar projects across 13 countries in Africa and two in Europe among others, IPS work undoubtedly according to specification and in line with international standards.
Philips disclosed that the firm’s work and quality plans as well as tracking each phase and document of the project is professionally handled in line with the nine principles of project management.