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FG Anticipates December Take off of 563MW Calabar NIPP Plant

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IMAGE: Namadi Sambo, Vice President »


The federal government yesterday said that the 563.37 megawatts (MW) Calabar National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) plant is expected to come on stream by December this year.

Contractors to the combined open cycle power plant told Vice President, Namadi Sambo, who visited the site at Odukpani local government in Calabar, yesterday that work on the plant was about 95 per cent completed and would be ready for inauguration by the December date.

The development however is coming on the heel of the renewed tussle between the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and Electricity Management Services Limited (EMSL) over the control of the technical regulation of Nigeria’s electricity market.

The project consultant, Steag Encotec West Africa (SEWA) and it’s engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor, Marubeni West Africa, told the Vice-President that, while the Balance of Plant (BoP) inauguration will commence in December following the expected delivery of first gas to the plant by Seven Energy in October 2014, it is however necessary for related ongoing transmission projects to be completed as well for smooth transmission of electricity from the plant.
Sambo in this regard noted that efforts were being made by the government to tidy up such extant loose ends, which he described as minor.

He said during his inspection that: “When we started, we did not know we would come this far. But today, we have a brand new power station in Calabar. I am happy with what I seeing here; Calabar power station has become a reality.”

Sambo therefore asked the stakeholders in the project to work within the established schedule to avoid slippages that could derail the planned take off date.

The launch of the Calabar plant is coming shortly, after the 434MW Geregu and 500MW Omotosho plants were unveiled in October 2013 in Kogi and Ondo States respectively.

Also, the acting Executive Director, Technical Service of NDPHC, Noah Igwe, who made a presentation on the status of the project, said the plant and it’s transmission switch yard were 95 per cent and 98 per cent completed respectively.

Igwe noted that all the lingering pre-inauguration issues would be addressed before fully energising the plant from December 2014.

He outlined the set targets, saying that, “Calabar NIPP is the next on the schedule for inauguration. The gas evacuation to site would commence October; the black-start unveiling would be by December.
“The plant commissioning and takeover is targeted for nine months, the end target is at most July, 2015,” he added.

It is equally understood that evacuation of generated electricity from the plant was still a source of concern to NDPHC, considering the delay in the completion of the transmission line from Odukpani through Ikot Ekpene into the national grid.

Similarly, a top official of NDPHC, who preferred to speak off record, however noted, “that 330Kv line would be ready in February 2014; so NIPP has built an alternate 132kV that will evacuate the first unit of the five turbines to Calabar town, which will take the first turbine capacity of 112MW in the interim till the main route is ready.”

He equally said that gas supply has been guaranteed by Seven Energy through it’s Nigerian subsidiary, ACCUGAS Limited, which will supply between 40 and 60 million metric standard cubic feet (mmscuf) of gas per day using an alternative route provided by the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) pipeline from Oron to Calabar before the plant’s dedicated pipeline comes on stream.

“That will feed the 30mmscuf gas required to unveil the first unit of 120mw by October and the second unit later until the 54 kilometres NIPP pipeline, which is fully ready by December,” the official added.

Meanwhile, the institutional tussle between the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and Electricity Management Services Limited (EMSL) over who should call the shot in regulation of technical operations in Nigeria’s emerging electricity market, yesterday took another direction, with the EMSL accusing NERC of unduly ceding regulatory powers to it.

While the Chairman of NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi insisted at a public hearing on it’s draft Nigerian Electricity Supply and Installation Standards (NESIS) Regulation, that the NERC remains the sole regulator mandated by law for the sector, an official of EMSL, who represented the entity explained that the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (EPSR) 2005 did not mandate NERC to take up such technical inspections that EMSL seeks to do.

However, in his reaction, Amadi reiterated that the bill to convert EMSL into another regulatory agency for the sector was wrong and that the commission will not cede it’s regulatory jobs to another parallel agency.

“It is pertinent to recognise that the National Electric Power Policy (NEPP 2000) and the Electric Power Sector reform Act (ESPR) 2005, which are the guiding spirit for the power sector reform unambiguously, mandate the commission as sole and independent technical and economic regulator of the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

“Today, we are conducting public hearing on another very important technical regulatory instrument (NESIS) developed by NERC in fulfillment of its mandate to ensure effective technical regulation for reliability and safety in NESI,” Amadi said.

He added: “I will like to categorically state here that there is no gap whatsoever in technical regulation in NESI as being alleged.”

The commission has put in place several regulatory instruments to address technical and safety issues arising from across the electricity supply chain in generation, transmission, distribution and utilisation.”

Amadi further said that the new document, which is planned to guide operations of the power sector and replace out-dated laws, was developed in line with international best practices and standards.

He listed other regulations so far developed by the commission to include; the grid code, metering code, distribution code, as well as health, safety and standards (HSE) code amongst others.

While challenging NERC’s position at the hearing, Jide Olagunju who represented the Managing Director of EMSL, Peter Eweso, claimed that NERC was trying to arrogate to itself functions reserved for the Electricity Inspectorate Services (EIS) of the Ministry of Power, which was transferred to EMSL in 2013.

Olagunju noted that the EPSR Act of 2005 never envisaged that NERC would be “climbing electric poles” to ensure standards.

He argued that rather, “ the NERC would set the standards for the government agency established to climb poles and do other technical inspections and certification.”

“If the proposed NESIS regulations 2014 are passed as presently formulated, EIS would cease to exist as a legal entity. In effect, the proposed NESIS regulations 2014 was designed to proscribe EIS,” he said.

He added that,  “the word inspector as used in the EPSR Act 2005 should not be read to mean that NERC, which is essentially a commercial regulator, can do technical regulation.”

Article Credit: Thisdaylive

Updated 3 Years ago

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Tags:     FG     NIPPs     Calabar     Namadi Sambo     NERC     SEWA     EPC     Noah Igwe