The Senate on Tuesday 27th July 2021 threw its weight behind the $2 billion future investments plan by the biggest thermal plant in Sub-Sahara Africa, Egbin Power Plc.
The Senate Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, which declared this during a facility visit to the power plant in Ikorodu Lagos, maintained that the plant has “done well” in justifying October 1, 2013 power sector’s privatisation by the Federal Government.
Chairman of the committee and former Governor of Abia State, Senator Theodore Orji who led the delegation that included the Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Senator Adelere Oriolowo; Senator Issa Jubril; Mr. Saibudeen Oduniy of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Clerk of the Committee Abdullai Sadiah (Mrs), queried the transmission and gas constraints, which have further impacted on the available generation and distribution capabilities.
Noting that Egbin is “doing fine” with its post-privatisation investments and activities, Senator Orji stated that the plant, which has invested about $1billion in the last seven years, should be encouraged to do more.
“This is a fact-finding mission about the power privatisation. We are encouraged by what we have seen at Egbin Power plant and we shall go back to the Senate to give our report on the entire process.”
“I can say that you are trying your best. You are doing fine and you should be encouraged to do more in terms of investments,” he said.
Director, Egbin Power Plc., Mr. Kola Adesina, declared that the plant, which has invested $1 billion in its value chain, is perfecting an investment plan of $2 billion for expansion.
Adesina who is also the Group Managing Director of Sahara Power Group, gave the breakdown to include $1.8 billion for Egbin Power Phase 2 and overhaul of the existing plant as well $200 million for the company’s residential quarters.
“The plant, which is the biggest in Sub-Sahara Africa with a capacity of 1320MW was generating 400 MW as at the time we took over, but today the generation has surged to above 800MW. At some points, we generated 1,100MW. We have been doing an average of 1,000MW this year”.
“Despite these, there are challenges we face that we want this Committee to help us with. The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) still owes Egbin a debt of N388 billion including money for actual energy wheeled out, and interest for late payment.”
There is a challenge of gas constraints which cost us 106.34MW since June 2020 due to these external constraints. In 2021 alone, we have lost N13.68 billion to these external constraints.
Stating that the Company would stop at nothing to help Nigeria’s course for improved power supply, Adesina, noted that Sahara Group, owner of Egbin, has also invested in the distribution stratum of the power industry through Ikeja Electric.
“We made an investment of $1 billion in total for the generation and the distribution because we know that there is a need for a handshake between the generation and distribution. An average Nigerian doesn’t understand what megawatts mean. What he or she understands is to press his or her switch and the bulb is lighted.
“We are of the belief that Nigeria deserves better. We cannot understand why the country with over 200 million people will still be generating about 4 000MW. As Nigeria is struggling with this 4,000MW, Korea is generating 120,000 MW per day”, he added.