By Jonathan Ugbal; Government House Correspondent
Electricity many argue is a major driver of industrialisation and Cross River State governor Benedict Ayade might have had this in mind yesterday when he revealed the state has concluded plans to set up a hydro power plants that will generate about 90 megawatts (mw) of electricity.
The governor disclosed this in Calabar when he received some investors from China hinting of three power generation stations; the Kwa Falls, Agbokim and the canalization and channelization from either Ikom, Calabar and Itigidi Rivers with each generating 30mw, totalling 90mw.
He also explained the choice of hydro power generation to gas turbines. “We are happy because we understand the power generation mechanics and how it works. A lot of states that invested in gas turbines today have their hands burnt because it is always very difficult to sustain the turbines. The huge gas supply per day at high running cost makes turbines more expensive to operate. So if we go hydro, the water is free. It is obvious that we are taking the right path and we are lucky to have this team which is tested and proven with long history of successes as experts in the field.
“As a people and a state who understands the difficulty of gas powered turbines, we as a state decided to develop a culture that will insist on hydropower. The decision for hydro is specific. In spite of the fact that it has high cost of initial investment, the downstream over time will kneel out the initial cost operational cost and therefore, from longevity operational efficiency and sustainability, it is imperative that we have to go for hydro, more so we are a coastal state.
Our thinking is that, since we have opportunity to have about three locations where we can generate hydroelectricity, our requirement as a state is little. From our projections we shall be generating 90mw at the three locations, utilizing only 30 as a state and selling out the remaining 60mw to the Federal Government.”
The Managing Director, Power China Huadong Engineering Corporation, Mr. Rao Jiangiang in his remarks commended the warm reception accorded them and asked all stakeholders involved to support the project
“With the warm reception accorded us by the state government and the people, we will swing into action by visiting the proposed sites to complete feasibility studies so as to actualize the dream in the shortest possible time.” He said.
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