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NNPC, Agip move on Okpai IPP’s upgrade

By Hector Igbikiowubo
THE Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)/Eni, ConocoPhillips Joint Venture, operated by Agip are fine-tuning arrangements to embark on the second phase of the Okpai Independent Power Plant which will increase installed capacity by one gigawatts.

Mr. Antonino Fiore, Manager, LNG & Power of Agip, said this when the company hosted Dr. Mohammed Barkindo, NNPC’s Group Managing Director, who visited the plant recently.

Fiore added that the second phase of the Okpai IPP which is scheduled for completion 20 months after the signing of the Final Investment Decision (FID), will bring the plants’ total output to a record one gigawatts of electricity.

The Okpai project consists of an integrated combined circle electric power generation plant for the production of 480 MW made up of two gas turbines and one steam turbine.

The project includes an overhead 130kv transmission line 54km in length that crosses the River Niger to connect the plant to the national grid at Obosi/Onitsha in Anambra State.

Earlier, Barkindo had commended  NAOC for identifying with the corporation’s drive to achieve President Umaru Yar’Adua’s aspiration of electric power sufficiency in the country.

Speaking during a visit to the Agip-operated Kwale-Okpai Independent Power Plant in the Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State and the Obiafu-Obrikom Gas Plant in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA of Rivers State, Barkindo remarked that the NNPC alongside its Joint Venture Partners -Agip- were working in harmony to achieve the nation’s short and medium term electricity targets.

“My visit to this power plant on the eve of the nation’s 49th independence anniversary is symbolic and epitomizes the commitment of the current administration to adequate power provision for Nigerians. The Okpai power plant symbolizes an emergency response to the nations need for adequate power supply. This plant was commissioned in April 2005 and since that time it has experienced a lot of challenges,” he said.

He noted that the visit is to ensure that the challenges are tackled in good time for the implementation of the second phase of the power plant to achieve Mr. President’s aspiration for the nation’s energy need.

“I am also using this opportunity to show our appreciation and gratitude to the good people of Obiafu -Obrikom and Okpai for maintaining cordial and peaceful environment for the important operations in their communities.”

Barkindo also commended Agip for its Clean Development Mechanism, CDM efforts in operating the Okpai plant and the Obiafu-Obrikom Gas Plant. A move which has put NAOC in a position to achieve some Carbon Credits. “By embarking on the Okpai plant project, Agip has identified itself as a dependable partner in the elimination of gas flaring and therefore reduction in the carbon emissions.’’

The Okpai IPP Phase 1 was started in 2003 and commissioned on April, 1 2005 while commercial operation began seven months later. The start up of the plant increased electric power production in Nigeria by 15 percent.


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