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Aba makes history as Tinubu inaugurates Geometric Power plant today

Geometric-power-plant

Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State, will today make history, as President Bola Tinubu commissions Geometric power plant, the first integrated power plant in Nigeria, situated at Osisioma Industrial area of Aba.

In preparation for the commissioning of the Power plant, Turbine 3 was turned on at 3.39pm on Sunday, February 25, 2024, leading to massive rejoicing by Geometric Power engineers and their KS Energy counterparts.

The 181-megawatt Geometric Power plant was originally scheduled for inauguration on Saturday, February 24, by President Bola Tinubu.

Aba Power Limited Electric, the newest electricity distribution company (DISCO), in Nigeria, will take electricity from the new plant and supply to 9 of the 17 Local Government Areas of Abia State.

Described as the biggest investment in the South-East Zone of Nigeria, Geometric Power has spent about $800 million on its integrated power project, which includes building of 27-kilometre natural gas pipeline, from Owaza in Ukwa West LGA in Abia State, to the Osisioma Industrial Layout in Aba.

“We have, in addition, installed 150,000 kilometres of cables and wires and installed four new power substations, as well as refurbished three others inherited from the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN”, explained Ben Caven, managing director, Geometric Power Ltd.

The Geometric Power Group was founded by Bart Nnaji, a professor and former minister of Power.

Nnaji, embarked on the integrated project after James Wolfensohn, a former World Bank President and then Nigeria’s Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala visted Aba, on March 17, 2004, and discovered that the greatest challenge facing both large-scale and medium-scale industrialists in Aba, reputed to be the centre of indigenous manufacturing in Nigeria, is epileptic power supply.

Both Wolfensohn and Okonjo-Iweala appealed to Nnaji to assist with a power plant dedicated to Aba, following the 22MW Abuja Emergency Power Plant he led a team of Nigerian engineers to build in Abuja, from 2000 to 2001 that supplied uninterrupted power to critical places, like the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Company, the Central Bank headquarters, the Aso Rock and the entire Central Business District of Abuja.

Patrick Umeh, a former executive with the Los Angeles Water and Light in the United States, who later served as commissioner in-charge of Markets, Market Rates and Competition, at the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), described the tubular poles mounted by Geometric Power in Aba and the environs, as incomparable in Africa.

“Only in cities like Tokyo and San Francisco in California you have facilities of this quality and sizes.

“Much as they are tall, as all of us can see, the tubular poles here are actually about 10 meters deep.

“In other words, in the unlikely event of a natural disaster, like earthquake in Aba or the environs, Aba Power and the Geometric Group will still be able to supply electricity to its numerous customers”.

‘Electricity was rarely available in Aba and when it was available it was so poor that it couldn’t power your household appliances, let alone industrial machines,” Alphonsus Udeigbo, president general, Aba Landlords Protection and Development Association (ALPANDA) said.

For Andy Ubah Obasi, a former president, Aba Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ACCIMA), takeover of Aba, by Geometric Power Limited, will incite industrialisation in the entire South-East region and Nigeria at large.
According to him, “The feeling of the business community is that this is long overdue. Most people know how useful and beneficial power is to industrialisation. Geometric has always been there for the past 16 -years and the business community has being anxiously waiting for this and we are glad that it has finally arrived”.

The inauguartion of the Geometric Power plant, will mark a new dawn in the country, not just in Aba or Abia State, according to Alexander Maduakor, president, Association of Aba Industrialists.

“We are proud of the support the Federal Government has of late been giving to the Geometric Power Limited, the only group in Nigeria that will generate and distribute its own power.