After 30 years of inefficient management, Egbin Power Plant now generates power at full capacity of 1000 megawatts. Thanks to the privatisation of the company under the President Goodluck Jonathan-led federal government now sustained by President Muhammadu Buhari
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Oct 12, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT |
FOR the first time since it was built 30 years ago, the Egbin Power plant is now contributing 1000 megawatts into the national grid. The power plant is presently generating power at its maximum capacity. Kola Adesina, chairman of the Egbin Power Plc, who disclosed this, said the power plant achieved the feat because of the continuing investment and upgrade activities on the plant by the new investors, Sahara Power Group and Korea Electric Power Corporation, KEPCO.
Adesina recalled that eight years ago, the plant had hit the 1000mw mark for barely two hours and never attained it again until now. He said prior to the privatisation and handover of the plant in November 2013, Egbin averaged generation of below 500mw was due to the dismal state of its six units which at its lowest point, only two of the six units were operational.
A press statement signed by Alex Okoh, head, public communication, Bureau for Public Enterprises, BPE, Adesina attributed the latest feat to privatisation policy of the federal government spear headed by the last administration which is now bearing fruits. He noted that prior to the privatisation of the plant in November 2013; most of the auxiliaries like the demineralisation plant were not functional, spare parts necessary for plant operation and preventive maintenance were unavailable and that most of the equipment were obsolete.
He said since takeover, the new owners have embarked on total overhaul of units 4, 5 and 1, allowing the units to peak at 220 MW each which is the installed capacity and that the plant had never undergone any major overhaul in its 30 years of operation. Adesina said Unit six of the plant which has been un-operational for 10 years has been successfully restored while Turbine Vibration Monitoring Systems which assisted in regulating the speed of the turbine in the event of vibration to avoid a catastrophic failure have been replaced.
According to him, with the successful restoration of unit six and the overhauling of the units halfway complete, there was an increase of 50 percent in generation and a drastic decrease in unscheduled shut-downs. On the medium term investment plans, the chairman said the major overhaul of Units two, three and six in 2016 would complete the overhaul plan scheduled until the next scheduled overhaul in 2019.
While noting that the feat signposts the unfolding success of the privatisation process and power sector reform in Nigeria, Adesina attributed the achievement partly to the direct intervention of the federal governments in its determination to resolve the power crisis which has resulted in recent improvement in gas supply. “This is driving the increase in power supply in the nation, boosting socioeconomic development. Prior to this, we had invested heavily and had the plant ready to generate power at full capacity but there was no gas to do so. This is indeed a good development for the power sector in Nigeria,” he said.
Commending the federal government for its recent interventions in the gas situation that has impacted power generation positively, Adesina called for more dynamic policies and incentives for sustainable gas supply across the nation. He pledged that the company would sustain its continuing capital investments and robust human capital development initiatives which include exchange programmes and training courses for all cadres of staff.
Also speaking on the achievement, Dallas Peavey, chief executive officer, said the transformation in Egbin commenced following its acquisition by Energy Resource Limited, KERL, in collaboration with its technical partners, Korea Electric Power Corporation, KEPCO. “Through the injection of close to N50 billion in new capital into Egbin post privatisation, the Sahara Power/KEPCO partnership has brought to the power plant, an unprecedented level of innovativeness, professionalism, human capital development and continuing investment in new technology.
“The control room panels, installed at the plant’s inception have been removed and upgraded to state of the art digital panels. The highlight of the main plant rehabilitation occurred in the first quarter of 2015, when the company successfully rehabilitated ST Unit 6 bringing an additional 220mw to the national grid and restoring the power plant to its installed capacity of 1320mw,” he said.
Peavey noted that upon taking over the plant, the new management brought in a new lease of life to all the stakeholders in Egbin with a clear roadmap for consistent retooling and repositioning of the company to conform to the latest technology and ensure optimal performance. He said: “In 2014, 107 young Nigerian graduate engineers were recruited into our Graduate Engineering Programme (GEP), a fast track manpower and developmental program for high potential individuals.
“In the true spirit of national development, the engineers were sent to the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) for a year’s training under the Graduate Skills Development Program. With these developments, Egbin is now equipped to generate power at its installed 1320mw capacity and we remain committed to sustaining the performance of the plant as we prepare to explore the prospects of expansion for enhanced power generation. We are already envisioning a future of 2670mw in a few years’ time and even go beyond to 10000mw in the next decade, if gas supply, transmission expansion and demand permits.”