Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, on Saturday performed the groundbreaking of the building of 11 Megawatts Independent Power Project (IPP) in a bid to address unstable power problem in the state.
In his remarks at the occasion, within the state secretariat complex, Makinde disclosed that the project would be executed by Elektron Energy within six to eight months at the cost of N8.27 billion.
According to the governor, the contractor will build, execute and transfer the project, thereafter, the state government will repay the capital expenditure investment of the Elektron Energy over 10 years period.
“And within this period, the energy company will operate and manage the Infastruture,” he said.
Makinde, who said the project was a right step taken by his administration to address the problem of electricity, noted that Nigeria had been unable “to generate and distribute enough energy to provide 24/7 to its citizens.
“Overtime, capable individuals have purchase different sizes of diesel/petrol generators or invested in solar energy as alternative sources of power.”
Clarifying issues relating to power distribution in the country, the governor explained that some people believed that only Federal Government has the power to distribute energy.
“So any power generated at the state or local level must be fed to the national greed before it can be distributed, this is partly true.
“Under the Electricity Power Sector Reform Acts, 2005, independent power distribution is allowed, regarding distribution licenses.
“Section 67 :1 states that subject to such terms and conditions; as the commission may fix, a distribution licence will authorise the licencee to construct, operate and maintain a distribution system and facilities,” he stated.
The Governor said it was on the basis of this Acts that his government had entered a contract with the Elektron Energy to finance and develop the 11 megawatts Hybrid Power Solution for the state government and some of its facilities within the Oyo State Secretariat , Agodi Ibadan and its environs.
Makinde added that the company, Elektron Energy would use Ibadan
Hybrid Power Limited, (Hypower) as the special purpose vehicle to execute the contract.
He hinted that the Hypower would be responsible for managing the distribution infastructure through Ibadan Hybrid Distribution Limited “which will hold an independent electricity distribution network.”
Highlighting some of the areas that will benefit from the project when completed, Makinde said the state secretariat where the project is sited would be the first beneficiary along with government facilities within the secretariat.
“Also the Lekan Salami Sports Complex Adamasingba, that was commissioned in September would benefit from the IPP when completed.
“Also 12 healthcare facilities including Adeoyo Maternity Teaching Hospital and the State Hospital, Ring road in Ibadan.
“This IPP will also power not less than 10 kilometers radius of public lighting under the Light Up Oyo project.
“In addition, it will provide for the energy need of the two judiciary complexes at Iyanganku and Ring road in Ibadan.
“Also Oyo State House of Assembly and a selection of schools within a defined catchment from the generation plant from the state secretariat will benefit,” the governor said.
He hinted that the government was already thinking of incorporating similar projects into the administration’s vision to facilitate the expansion of state economic-base by making power available to industrial areas.
In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Energy and Natural Resources, Mr Seun Ashamu said the project was part of the initiative of the Gov. Makinde’s administration to provide Infastruture for the economic growth of the state.
Ashamu described Infastruture as the bedrock of societal development and critical to induce economic development.
“Unfortunately, in Nigeria today, we have an installed generation capacity of about 13,000 Megawatts with the willing average of about 4,000 Megawatts.
“But we only distribute between 3, 500 and 4,000 Megawatts; which is further decreased by technical loses in the distribution infrastructure.
“Therefore, a project like this – IPP, will ensure sustainability of what we are doing in the state as we will be able to guaranty 24 hours electricity,” he said.
The Commissioner assured the people of the state that the 11 megawatts Gas and Solar Hybrid plant when commissioned, would result in improved productivity of government staff and long term cost savings among other benefits
On his part, the Managing Director of Elektron Energy, Mr Tola Talabi,
gave assurance that his company- Elektron Energy, was in a prime position to deliver the project for the people of the state in six months.
Talabi said the power plant when completed would drive productivity, development, jobs, services to government and the people of Oyo state.
He added that it would be a catalyst in showing that independent power project can work commercialIy in a viable way in the state.
“This hybrid power solution is made up of 10 Megawatts of gas power engines and one megawatt of solar power.
He said the hybrid power project has significant benefits for the people of the state including reduction in cost and pollution, driving productivity, among others.