Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The federal government has sealed a deal with Proserve Energy Services Limited, to build, operate and maintain a 750 kilowatts (kW) capacity solar power system at the headquarters of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing in Abuja.
The 10-year concession deal was part of the tripartite agreement documents recently signed by the Power Ministry, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (Disco), which would be allowed to take excess power from the solar facility to its network, and the concessionaire, Messrs Proserve Energy.
The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr. Louis Edozien, while presenting the power purchase and concession agreements for the project to the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) in Abuja, said that the project was a pilot scheme. He said the government would replicate same in its buildings housing its Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
“It is my pleasure to mark the landmark we have achieved by handing over this documents to ICRC to be the custodian and regulator for the transaction,” said Edozien.
He commended the ministry’s team and other stakeholders who worked towards ensuring a competitive procurement for the project, and from which Proserve emerged the preferred bidder for the contract.
On his part, the Managing Director of Proserve, Dr. Abbah Ibrahim, assured of the company’s commitment to deliver quality electricity service with the project.
Ibrahim, explained that the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) partner for the project in Germany has assured its readiness to deliver in six months of reaching the financial close. He added that his firm was ready to handle the financial, construction and operational risks involved.
According to him: “For the operational risks, we have a South African firm. We have actually identified these risks. I am honoured and privileged to be part of this journey.”
Similarly, the Director General of ICRC, Mr. Chidi Izuwah, said it was a milestone for the Commission, especially as the project got to commercial close. Izuwah, explained that after the financial close, the project would hit the ground running.
Represented by an official of the ICRC, Onwodi Emmanuel, Izuwah stated that the hybrid solar power plant would deliver 750kW energy at day time and 75kW during the night time. He added that Abuja Disco has agreed to take the excess power from the plant into the grid for use in its network.
He further said the initiative began in 2016 when the Public Private Partnership (PPP) began to provide uninterrupted electricity supply source using renewable energy source for the Power House which also houses the headquarters of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
He stated that while 15 firms indicated interest, seven responded and three were prequalified before Proserve won the bid, stressing that the project would operate for 10 years before the firm hands it over to the federal government after the concession period.