By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
The Cross River State Government Friday, took delivery of equipment for the construction of a 20 Megawatts power generation equipment with a view to ending the issues surrounding epileptic power supply in Calabar especially as it affects security.
The Governor, Senator Ben Ayade while taking of the equipment at the site for the generating plant along Parliamentary extension in the state’s capital city of Calabar, told journalists that the delivery showed that the Memorandum of Understandings he has been signing were coming into action and pointed out the equipment were designed to run economically and will aid the state arrest the issues surrounding power supply to drive an industrialized local economy.
“All of those my trips in my first year in office when we were still trying to do agenda setting for the government, one of the greatest achievements we had in one of those MoU’s was to have an embedded power generation for Cross River State. I am happy to announce to you today that we are taking delivery of 20 Megawatts embedded generation for the city of Calabar.
“As we all can see, it is an ongoing operation, delivering a Ruston low spin power system with dual fuel usage. It has the luxury of using gas or it could use diesel. If it is using diesel, the consumption is far less. You can almost approximate 25 percent of diesel, in other words what you have here is a special engine designed to run with a minimal consumption of diesel” Ayade said.
The governor who also disclosed that 5 more containers laden with equipment is scheduled to arrive soon after the initial delivery of 5, said the security component cannot be ruled out especially as the Calabar festival is fast approaching.
“The whole street lights are gong to be connected to this grid and we are going to pick up the diesel engines from the streets and then link all the street lights so that Calabar South up to Anantigha, Atimbo and all those areas including 8 Miles, Nassarawa which in time have been decouple from the street lighting will come back” he said.
On the prospects, Ayade said that the engines are; “Specially designed for economy and also for uninterrupted power supply so what will happen ultimately is that Cross River State and Calabar in particular will have Uninterrupted Power Supply which means perhaps Calabar will be the first state Capital to have uninterrupted power supply.
“We are beginning to convert the MoU’s to full action, all the MOU’s are taking the breath of life. I can guarantee the people of Calabar that in 3 months from today we would have finished the installation and Cross River State will enjoy steady supply of electricity.”
Furthermore, he decried the outdated distribution infrastructure, a situation he said is a hindrance to the efforts of the state government but pointed out that several actions have been taken to mitigate the challenge which include the purchase of transformers and other distribution equipment.
Applauding Cross Riverians for being mature in their payment of bills which places the state at the zenith of civility in terms of voluntary payment of electricity tariffs, Ayade said the state will ensure the protection of consumer rights and value for money services while honoring the willing buyer willing seller principle in embedded power generation.
Also, he disclosed that a team from the state currently in India to finalize a USD30million 26 Megawatts gas fired plant which will be located in Tinapa while plans were ongoing for embedded power generating plants in Yakurr, Ikom and Ogoja local governments areas in the first phase which has since Obudu completed so far and hinted on the power plans of the state.
“If you look at the energy master plan for Cross River State, we have divided them into Helipots. Those that are stranded and too far from the gas and do not have water will use Rustin low fired, those that are close to water sources like Agbokim will use hydro” Ayade said.
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