By CrossRiverWatch Admin
The federal government says the Calabar electricity generation company (Genco) built by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) under its National Integrated Power Project will soon be sold to private investors in continuation of the 2013 privatization bid which was suspended.
The Managing Director of the NDPHC, Mr. Chinedu Ugbo disclosed this in an interview at the weekend in Abuja where he said the resumption of the privatization processes of the 634 megawatts (MW) plant in Calabar and the 1,076MW combined cycle in Alaoji as well as the 506MW plant in Geregu have been approved by the government.
The plant is located at Ekemkpo community in Odukpani local government area, less than 20 kilometers away from Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
And, THISDAY quotes Ugbo as saying the challenges that faced the company had been resolved with the preferred bidders still very interested as well with the market risks associated with the sector currently being addressed.
He said: “This privatization process started in 2012 and moved to 2013 with the emergence of the preferred bidders. At that time it was a mix of market issues and internal issues that had to do with gas supply, completion of the power plants and evacuation.
“Alaoji and Calabar had no evacuation facilities; the plants on the west side of Delta, from Sapele, Benin had gas supply problems. Shortly before I came in, the company got approval that once we finish resolving the issue of a particular plant we should go ahead and sell the plant.
“So, we were able to rush and finish the Ikot-Ekpene switching station and the transmission line to Calabar and the transmission line to Alaoji, as both of them come to Ikot-Ekpene where the power is sent to Ugwuaji and from there to the rest of the grid.
“So, that resolved the transmission challenge for Calabar and Alaoji. Total has finished the dedicated pipeline to Alaoji power plant and they have started supplying gas to the plant. Alaoji and Calabar both have gas evacuation facilities. We got approval for Calabar to be privatized; Alaoji was not included because it was under litigation. But the issue has been handled and Alaoji is back.”
Mr. ugbo noted that the NDPHC was working with the Bureau of Public Enterprises and the National Council on Privatization to conclude the process and lamented that the NIPP plants in operation were selling power to the national grid at a discounted rate of (NGN18 and NGN23 for other Gencos) and were not allowed to claim capacity payments.