• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

Geometric begins electricity generation next two months – Nnaji

As operators trade blame, grid collapse worsens outages

The 188-megawatt Geometric Power plant in Osisioma Industrial Layout in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State, will start to generate electricity in the next two months, according to Bart Nnaji, chairman, Geometric Power Group.

Nnaji, a former Minister of Power, stated this Wednesday, at the opening ceremony of a two day African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Market Opportunities Conference holding at the Technology Incubation Centre, Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State.

Starting with one of its three General Electric brand turbines, the second will come on stream once the performance of the first turbine is declared satisfactory, by the team of engineers led by KS Energy of Turkey and Ben Caven, managing director of Geometric Power Aba Limited.

Caven was a former executive director of the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) reputed to be the only person to have run the generation, engineering and transmission divisions of the state-owned utility.

Nnaji affirmed that the generation of electicity from the Geometric Power plant, will be a game changer in the socioeconomic development of not just Aba city, but also nine out of the 17 local government areas of Abia State, serviced by Aba Power, a member of Geometric group.

“We have completed building four brand new power substations and refurbishing three substations inherited from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), in addition to providing thousands of kilometres of cables and wires, as well as world-class tubular poles available in only highly industrialised cities such as Tokyo in Japan and San Francisco in California.

“All that remains now is to provide fuel or gas to the Geometric Power plant, through the 27-kilometre gas pipeline from Owaza in Ukwa West LGA in Abia State, to the plant at Osisioma Industrial Layout on the Aba outskirts.

“Oilserv, Nigeria’s foremost indigenous gas pipeline builder, is doing a good job on that”,Nnaji acknowledged.

Nnaji, also a former Minister of Science and Technology, who held the title of Distinguished Professor of Engineering in the United States, disclosed that though work has been completed on the seven substations, thousands of kms of wires as well as tubular poles, the power infrastructure will be put in use only when the Geometric Power plant becomes operational.

Th plant commissioning, he added, would bring about a dramatic improvement in not power supply but also its quality.

The Aba Integrated Power Project, he continued, “is the only electricity company in Nigeria that generates and also distributes power”.

He disclosed that he chose to site Geometric Power in Aba, to catalyse development as the headquarters of indigenous technology and manufacturing, noting that with “constant, quality and affordable electricity soon, the cost of doing business in Abia State will reduce significantly and this will, in turn, impact on the national economy.”

He advised Aba business people to embrace the African Continental Free Trade Area, as it will elminate multiple taxes by various local and state governments as well as the Federal Government.

Nigeria has signed the agreement and ratified it, thus attaining the status of a state party whose goods and services can be exported to other African countries with relative ease.

Nnaji commended Aba businesses for excelling in textiles, leather products and metals which need large export markets.

Other participants in the two-day conference which will end tomorrow include the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, the Nigerian Shippers Council, United Bank for Africa, and the African Export Import Bank (AFREXIM Bank).