By Sebastine Obasi
THERE is hope of improved power supply in 2017, as Aba, Abia State-based Geometric Power stated that it is working in partnership with foreign firms to generate 1,140 megawatts to boost power supply to the South-east geo-political zone of the country.
Barth Nnaji, former Minister of Power, who is the promoter of the project said the first tranche of the power project, a 140 megawatts power plant by Geometric would come on stream before the first half of the year. He explained that Geometric Power is partnering with United States-based General Electric and Orascom of Egypt to build two separate 500 megawatts power plants in Aba to bring the total to 1,140 megawatts.
“The project, Aba integrated power project (Aba IPP), the issue that held it from coming on stream is being resolved with the full support of the Federal Government, the Minister of Power, the Permanent Secretary, President, the Vice President; they are working very hard to see that this thing is fully resolved. Once it is resolved, we think that within the next six months, Aba should see power.”
Nnaji’s statement may have signaled the coming to fruition of the long- awaited power project meant to supply uninterrupted electricity to the commercial city of Aba and its environs.
It will be recalled that Geometric Power and Interstate Electric, owners of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company have been involved in a rift over the ownership of Aba Power project, which warranted the intervention by the Federal Government.
Part of the agreement brokered by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola was that Geometric should pay Interstate the sum of $26 million claimed to have been spent in Aba since the acquisition of the geographical area covered by the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company. Sources told Vanguard that though no single equipment has been installed, nor the old ones changed in Aba since the acquisition, Geometric agreed to pay the sum so as to facilitate the take off of the project.
Barth Nnaji secured a 20-year concession from the Federal Government to supply power exclusively to the Aba industrial city and its surrounding communities.