Governor Udom Emmanuel has restated his commitment towards providing steady power supply in all communities in Akwa Ibom State as a boost to his industrialization policy.
Governor Gabriel Emmanuel Udom yesterday led the management team of Ibom Power Company Limited, an electricity generation company based in the state, to collect a licence from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) pursuant to its anticipated generation of about 685 megawatts (mw) of electricity. This is an increase of 495mw of generating capacity from the 190mw that the Ibom Power Plant currently supplies to the national grid. It is in line with an on-grid generation licence the Ibom Power Plant was issued in May 2008 for a gas-fired power plant located at Ikot Abasi.
The UNION reports that the Ibom Power Plant license brings the total number of licences issued by NERC in the nation’s electricity sector to 126. These do not also include the two that were issued by the Ministry of Power and Steel prior to the enactment of the Electric Power Sector Reformed Act under which NERC was established. Receiving the licence, Udom appealed to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to improve its network ahead of the completion of the expanded power plant.
“Ibom is one of the first independent power projects in the country. This achievement did not come as an accident. It is because the previous administration in the State invested heavily in this sector. “This is not a power plant that would have gas supply challenge. We have set up a gas processing plant that is supplying gas to the adjoining power plants. We will soon come for an embedded generation licence that would supply power to our industrial estates that would be established along the coastal line “I want to appeal to TCN to improve its network ahead of the completion of the expanded power plant.
We have invested $22 million on transmission networks, and it would be a wasted investment, if there would be no corresponding investment in transmission by TCN to evacuate the generated power,” Udom noted. Earlier, the Chairman of NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi, expressed his confidence that the company is capable of the task ahead. “We are strict about our licencing procedure. That we are here today is an indication that the State and management of Ibom Power Plant have fulfilled those conditions.
They are not new to the process. They have done this before, and they have shown (that) they are equal to the task. “Akwa Ibom is a frontrunner in this respect, and they have shown good example of public private partnership (PPP). We will give you the necessary assistance to achieve this,” he promised. A breakdown of the categories of the licences issued revealed that: 72 on-grid, 25 off-grid, six embedded, 14 distribution, and one for trading, transmission and system operations each.
The total capacity, if fully developed, would be 22,216mw on-grid, 428.12mw on-grid, 298mw embedded generation and 5,032mw from the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs). Others are 7,283.2mw from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and 780mw from the legacy Independent Power Projects (IPPs).
This brings the total national power generation capacity to 35,314mw for on-grid generation, with 428.12mw for off-grid generation and 298mw for embedded electricity generation. The energy mix in Nigeria is also more diversified with multiple sources currently being sought, resulting in the construction of four hydro power plants with the capacity of 1,969mw, six coal fired plants of 1,815mw, two wind powered plants of 110mw and 5 solar powered plants producing 189mw.
-Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja