Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has said four out of the eight turbines installed at the site of the 215 megawatts (MW) Kaduna power plant have been completed and ready to begin producing electricity to the national grid.
Fashola, also said progress had been made at the plant since he last visited it about a year ago, noting that every megawatts of power that can be gotten from the plant would be added to the national grid.
The minister stated this during his recent inspection of progress of work at the plant located in Kudenda area of Kaduna State.
Fashola said about the progress of work at the plant: “We have also tested four of the turbines, preparatory for commissioning, so there are essentially four turbines that are ready to go.
“So, every megawatt we can deliver from this project, considering that each of the turbines is 25 megawatts, is additional power. Clearly this will boost our incremental power objective and we are on our way. It will just take those man hours and those challenges to get to our destination,” he added.
Similarly, the Project Manager at Rockson Engineering which was contracted to build the plant, Mr. Sunny Okwedi, stated that four out of the eight turbines in the plant had been completed and ready to be powered, but that the four completed turbines would not be switched on until the Power Control Motor (PCM) was installed with the switch yard commissioned.
According to Okwedi: “We have done the cabling works, the pipe connection, the fuel tank with the switch yard and its control building almost completed.
“The PCM is already on site and from the discussion with our receiver managers, we are going to start the process of installation by next week.”
Meanwhile, the power ministry, in statement also stated that the federal government has signed a grant aid project with Japan for emergency rehabilitation and reinforcement of the Lagos electricity transmission substation.
It explained the grant was worth $21.088 million and the project would strengthen the power infrastructure and supply of Lagos as a commercial hub and industrial centre in Nigeria.
According to the ministry, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr. Udoma Udo, signed the agreement recently in Abuja for the federal government, while Japanese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Nigeria, Yutaka Kikuta, signed for the Japanese government.
It said, Udoma, explained that attaining some level of power sufficiency was one of the goals of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the government.
He reportedly stated: “As you know, the ERGP sets out our four-year plan for the transformation of our country, the ERGP aims to restore growth, invest in people and build a globally competitive economy.
“But not just to restore growth, but a growth that is diversified, inclusive and sustainable.”
Udoma, further said: “Amongst its execution priorities is the attainment of energy self-sufficiency in power and petroleum products.”
He said in 2016, Nigeria signed an Exchange of Note (E/N) for emergency improvement of electricity supply in Abuja with the government of Japan, adding that the project has been completed and ow contributing to improving power supply in Abuja.
Udoma, equally noted that Japan had played a role in the design of a master plan study on national power system development in Nigeria.
Similarly, Kikuta, in his remarks, said power supply was key for industrialisation in any country considering that it is one of the factors foreign investors consider in making their investment decisions.
He also explained that the economic position of Lagos State as a commercial and industrial centre of Nigeria underlined the strategic importance of the project to strengthen power infrastructure in Nigeria.