For the first time since it was built about 30 years ago, the Egbin Power plant is now generating power at its maximum capacity of 1000 megawatts, into the national grid.
This was disclosed by the Chairman of the Egbin Power Plc, Chief Kola Adesina who said “this is the first time since inception of the power plant that it will achieve the feat because of the continuing investment and upgrade activities on the plant by the new investors -Sahara Power Group and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO)”.
Chief Adesina recalled that eight years ago, the plant had hit the 1000mw mark for barely two hours and never attained it again until now; adding that “ prior to the privatization and handover of the plant in November 2013, Egbin averaged generation of below 500mw due to the dismal state of its six units which at its lowest point, only two of the six units were operational.”
In a press statement signed by the Head of Public Communication of the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), Alex Okoh, the company chairman attributed the latest feat to privatization policy of the federal government spear headed by the last administration which is now bearing fruits.
He noted that prior to the privatization of the plant in November 2013; most of the auxiliaries like the demineralization plant were not functional, spare parts necessary for plant operation and preventive maintenance were unavailable and that most of the equipment was obsolete.
He said since takeover, the new owners have embarked on total overhaul of units4, 5 and 1, allowing the units to peak at 220 MW each which is the installed capacity and that the plant “has never undergone any major overhaul in its 30 years of operation”.
Adesina said Unit 6 of the plant which has been un-operational for 10 years has been successfully restored while Turbine Vibration Monitoring Systems which assist in regulating the speed of the turbine in the event of vibration to avoid a catastrophic failure have been replaced.
According to him, with the successful restoration of unit 6 and the overhauling of the units halfway complete, there was an increase of 50 percent in generation and a drastic decrease in unscheduled shut-downs. On the medium term investment plans, the Chairman said the major overhaul of Units 2, 3 and 6 in 2016 will complete the overhaul plan scheduled until the next scheduled overhaul in 2019.
While noting that the feat signposts the unfolding success of the privatization process and power sector reform in Nigeria, Adesina attributed the achievement partly to the direct intervention of the federal governments in its determination to resolve the power crisis which has resulted in recent improvement in gas supply.
“This is driving the increase in power supply in the nation, boosting socioeconomic development. Prior to this, we had invested heavily and had the plant ready to generate power at full capacity but there was no gas to do so.
This is indeed a good development for the power sector in Nigeria,” he said. Commending the Federal Government for recent interventions in the gas situation that has impacted power generation positively, the company’s Chairman called for more dynamic policies and incentives for sustainable gas supply across the nation.
He pledged that the company would sustain its continuing capital investments and robust human capital development initiatives which include exchange programmes and training courses for all cadres of staff.
Also speaking on the achievement, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Dallas Peavey said the transformation in Egbin commenced following its acquisition by Kepco Energy Resource Limited (KERL), in collaboration with its technical partners, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).
“Through the injection of close to N50 billion in new capital into Egbin post privatization, the Sahara Power/ KEPCO partnership has brought to the power plant, an unprecedented level of innovativeness, professionalism, human capital development and continuing investment in new technology.
The control room panels, installed at the plant’s inception have been removed and upgraded to state of the art digital panels. The highlight of the main plant rehabilitation occurred in the first quarter of 2015, when the company successfully rehabilitated ST Unit 6 bringing an additional 220mw to the national grid and restoring the power plant to its installed capacity of 1320mw,” he said.
Peavey noted that upon taking over the plant, the new management brought in a new lease of life to all the stakeholders in Egbin with a clear roadmap for consistent retooling and repositioning of the company to conform to the latest technology and ensure optimal performance.
He said, “In 2014, 107 young Nigerian graduate engineers were recruited into our Graduate Engineering Program (GEP), a fast track manpower and developmental program for high potential individuals.
In the true spirit of national development, the engineers were sent to the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) for a year’s training under the Graduate Skills Development Program.
“With these developments, Egbin is now equipped to generate power at its installed 1320mw capacity and we remain committed to sustaining the performance of the plant as we prepare to explore the prospects of expansion for enhanced power generation.
We are already envisioning a future of 2670mw in a few years’ time and even go beyond to 10000mw in the next decade, if gas supply, transmission expansion and demand permits.”
-Tony Ailemen, Abuja