By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
Abuja—Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited, MESL, has injected a fresh $26 million into the Kainji Hydro Power Plant to rehabilitate its Hydro Turbine Generator unit 1 G 7.
The agreement for the rehabilitation project was signed with General Electric, GE, in Abuja, yesterday.
With the rehabilitation expected to be completed in 24 months, it would add 80 Mega Watts, MW, raising Mainstream’s power generation from both Kainji and Jebba Hydo Power Plants to about 1, 000 M W.
The two plants have a combined installed capacity of about 1, 330 MW.
The Chairman of MESL, Col Sani Bello (retd), said his company was committed to the concession of Kainji and Jebba plants with a view to significantly improving power supply to the Nigerian society.
He said negotiations for the rehabilitation of Unit 2 G6 of the Jebba plant was on-going and that the rehabilitation of that unit would soon commence to further increase power output from Mainstream’s operations by another 96 MW.
The chairman said, “we can’t meet our own side of the bargain unless our partners in the concession also meet their own side of the agreement. So, far the agreement has been truncated but we have managed to survive and keep our heads above water. I hope that payments are substantially made as agreed. We have got a lot of outstanding invoices.”
Bello noted that the N701 billion payment guarantee of the federal government which was meant for invoices between January this year and December 2018 was very significant.
He said the initiative would provide up to 80 per cent of invoices payment within the period, describing it as “a significant,” as it brought about a rise in invoices payment from between 25 per cent and 30 per cent to 80 per cent.
The Managing Director, Engr. Lamu Audu said the rehabilitation deal between Mainstream and GE, “is in line with Mainstream’s capacity recovery obligations under the concession agreement with the federal government of Nigeria. It is also our contribution towards increased power supply programme of the government. The rehabilitation work is expected to commence immediately and will be carried out by GE/Austrong of France.
The rehabilitation is expected to last for 24 months at an estimated cost of $26 million (about N8.280 billion using, the N360/$1 exchange rate)
Role of GE
According to Engr. Audu, “GE is the contractor in the rehabilitation programme. I must mention that this particular G7 from the beginning, the machine was designed and constructed by GE. So, GE is the original equipment manufacturer. But that notwithstanding, going through the procurement process, we did not just pick GE because it was the equipment manufacturer, we had to ensure value for money. They went through competitive bidding for the project and won.”
Since the commencement of operations in 2013, MESL has raised total available capacity for both plants to 922MW.
The Chief Executive Office of GE Nigeria, Mr. Lazarus Angbazo, who signed on behalf of his company, said his team was prepared to make the deal a reality.
He also said that GE was committed to other provisions of the agreement aimed at launching MESL into the renewable energy sub-sector.
Specifically, the agreement provides for GE to implement the Kainji and Jebba Power Plants Recovery Plan; improve the generation and evacuation infrastructure for grid connectivity of Kainji to the West African Power Pool; and develop other Hydro Power potentials in Nigeria and West Africa.