How did you manage to restore the Kolo Creek Power Plant which you have on various occasions come to its rescue.
The restoration government met a power station that was operating at less than 20 per cent of its name plate capacity of 20 megawatts (MW) because of technical issues that were begging for attention. We met a station that was owing over N400 million in gas bills and without a formal gas supply agreement from 1998. Today, as I speak to you and the Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited (SPDC) will bear me out that we have entered into a firm gas sales agreement that will commit SPDC to supply us gas after payment of 30 percent of the legacy debts. SPDC indeed shut their gas valves this time around. It shut its gas valves because we could not meet the monthly payment scheduled in the agreement. Understandably so as our target was to pay through electricity bills.
We still have teething problems which are not unexpected for dynamic equipment like a gas turbine with precision instruments that has been so neglected for a long period. In fact, even when it was in operation, obvious protection systems were bypassed to ensure that it is forced to run.
You seem to be abreast with the gas turbine, why bring in expatriates when you can do it even better?
You see no one person can be said to have the entire range of competences and skills that the gas turbine and in particular electrical engineering demand. There are some persons whose responsibility is to be dispatching energy to the various load centres. There are also people who stay in the radio transmission with the sole responsibility of communicating with operators and the entire network or systems. Such people may spend all their entire working live in a power station or transmission stations till they retire without any single knowledge of the engineering principles of how the power system works. My area of specialisation as far as the power plant is concerned is very narrow just as the expatriates who come have their defined roles to play.
What are your challenges?
Unlike other static equipment or infrastructures, the challenges of a dynamic equipment like the power plant begins form the day you start running it. So my challenges are how to keep this and other plants running sustainably to achieve their designed life span. In this case, how do I keep this plant running to attain 48,000 hours running which is the engineering life of the gas generator before it undergoes another complete overhaul. It will require strict adherence to the operating philosophy of the plant and its ancillaries. It will require stocking of fast wearing parts as spares. It will require building human capacity to acquire the right skills and competences.
The successful starting of the Olympus is only a stepping stone towards the realization of the harnessing of all the power plants owned by the Bayelsa State Government which together is about 100MW. This can be possible through an integrated approach and requires the understanding of every stakeholder. Our yearning is to make Bayelsa State a net exporter of electricity. This is a task that must be achieved. It is a legacy I as a person will want to be part of and so let every person who loves Bayelsa State come and join the Restoration Government piloted by the Governor of Bayelsa State to make this a reality.