By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
The Cross River State government has signed a memorandum of understanding with a consortium of energy firms led by the African Discovery Group to deliver a 750MW power plant in 18 months through the deployment of a ‘unique’ Siemens technology.
An additional 40 megawatts is to be delivered within three months using a ‘unique’ truck mounted technology.
Both systems will use gas powered turbines said the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the African Discovery Group, Mr. Alan Kessler
He said that the power needs of the country will increase by the end of the century due to increase in the human population.
“At the end of the century, Nigeria will have more people than the United States, you need electricity to grow,” Mr. Kessler said.
Explaining the concepts, Mr. Kessler said that the firm has ships based in Singapore of which “we are replacing the hull of the ship with turbines from Siemens,” and run natural gas to power the 42 individual turbines to generate 750MW.
He said the ship will berth nearby and power can be conducted into the grid.
The second system which Mr. Kessler said can be ready in three months is a truck mounted technology whose “method of delivery is quick, efficient and consistent.”
“The system is of course free of charge and it will not offer any upfront cost to the people of Cross River State,” he added.
Mr. Kessler was accompanied by Mr. Ifedapo Adeniyi, the technical sales assistant for Siemens Nigeria, Barrister Oparaugo Osita, the Managing Director and CEO of Footprints to Africa and Mr. Henry Ojinere, the Chairman of FWE Western Energy.
Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade in his remarks said he was happy that the facility comes at no cost to the state and disclosed his excitement that the emergency system which supplies 40MW when added to the state’s 21MW plant will meet part of the state’s electricity needs in the short term.
He posited that the state power needs was just in the region of 300MW and when an extra 200MW is kept for stability, the remaining 250MW can be sold out.
“Cross River does not need half of that and of course we know that we will be selling this to the Cameroon’s,” Mr. Ayade said.
This, with the records showing that the state has the highest level of voluntary utility bills payment according to Mr. Ayade, will place the state in the right path towards prosperity.
He sued for the 40MW truck mounted plant to be delivered in two months to provide power for the yuletide and pledged the state will support the firm to ensure this happens.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Power in the state, Mr. Thomas Udam said the partnership was in line with the state’s policy to provide “adequate and reliable power supply” that is “affordable for Cross Riverians.”
He said the ministry has been moving “from one generating company to the other” in a bid to fulfill this mandate.
CrossRiverWatch findings reveal that these modular power plants or power-plants-on-wheels as they are better known, have been used by several countries like Egypt, Cameroon and Indonesia to meet their power shortages.
And energy giants like General Electric and Siemens have all created these moduls to meet the energy demand of emerging industrial towns with acute power shortages.
Watch video of how it works:
In a related development, Mr. Ayade congratulated Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari for approving the transaction adviser for the Bakassi deep seaport as earlier reported by CrossRiverWatch.
Mr. Ayade who directed his commissioners to give Mr. Buhari a standing ovation said that the approval which was achieved in just two years was record breaking.
Mr. Ayade said the standing ovation was the least the state can do in appreciation of a President that has a special love for the state.
“As the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria receives a standing ovation in this Executive Chambers, I want to appreciate him for graciously keeping to his promise by appointing a transaction advisor for the people of Cross River for the uptake and starting of the Bakassi Deep Seaport project.
“It is a classical demonstration of the President’s commitment to his words,” said Ayade.
Recalling that the President had during the groundbreaking ceremony for the project promised to assist the state in actualising it, he said the approval of the transaction Advisor in just two years is record-setting.
According to him, “the people and government of Cross River State are grateful to President Buhari for helping us to achieve this feat within record speed of two years.”
He explained that the appointment of the transaction adviser for the project means that work will soon commence on site.
He used the occasion to also express gratitude to the Minister of Transport, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi who according to him stopped at no point in putting pressure on his entire team to get the transaction advisor approved.
On what the development means for the state, he said: “For us as a state it puts an end to the dreaming phase, now we are in reality, thank God to President Buhari and the Ministry of Transport who made it possible.
“Preliminary reclamation works will commence soon while commencement of the actual work will also start this year.”