BY CHRIS OCHAYI
ABUJA – The Federal Government and Benco Energy Limited of Brazil yesterday signed a N144 billion Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, to construct a 700 megawatts power plant in Nigeria.
The President of Benco Energy Limited, Brazil, Mr. Rodrigo Badew, said at the MoU signing ceremony that the plant which will be gas and vapour fired will be built in Bayelsa State.
He added that the plant will have a construction period of three years.
According to him, “it is a 700MW plant although it can reduce to 688MW because this depends on location and environmental conditions. The investment is around $800 to $900m.
“Of course all these will be confirmed as soon as we have all the necessary investigations and have them more defined. The time schedule is supposed to be around three years to three and half years for the construction of the project.
“The location is Bayelsa because it is a terrain which is close to gas supply, transmission line and a river. So we have all the right infrastructure that we need there and this location is perfect for our investment,” he said.
Badew added that the power plant would basically consist of two turbines that run on gas and two others that will run on vapour, noting,“that is the power module of the plant that we are going to be implementing”.
The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said in his address that a couple of years ago, Electrobras of Brazil and the Nigerian government signed an MoU which was aimed at bringing into Nigeria Electrobras to help the country develop as much as 10,000MW of power
According to him, “what we are seeing today is the very first takeoff of the implementation of that MoU bringing Benco to work with the Federal Ministry of Power for their plant. We want to assure Benco that the terms of the MoU that we have signed today, we will do our best to implement them.”
The minister also noted that Nigeria now generates and distributes an average of 4,500MW of power.
He said, “I am very sure that some of you if not all of you would have noticed that within the past few weeks we have averaged about 4,500MW of power delivery and it has been stable.
“And that means that most of you are now getting better power supply than you have had in the recent past. Gas is now coming in and we are expecting even a lot more of gas.
“The transmission facilities are being beefed up to strengthen and make more reliable and stable the national grid to be able to wheel out more power,” he said.