The Managing Director of Ibom Power Plant Ltd., Mr Meyen Etukudo, on Tuesday told the Akwa Ibom Government to increase funding for the state’s collapsed Gas Turbine Generator Unit One (GTG-1).
Etukudo, a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, also called for a buy-back of all Ibom Power Company (IPC) debts and a review of faulty gas and power evacuation policies inherited from previous administrations.
The managing director was speaking at a webinar, organised by the Ikot Ekpene Branch of the Nigerian Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers at Ikot Ekpene.
Tracing the history of the company, he said that the IPC, established by the State Government in 2001 became functional in December, 2009 with 191MW installed capacity.
According to him, the company increased its transmission capacity in 2009 and by 2012, having operated for about 10,000 hours, its gas turbine generator unit collapsed.
He explained that because of an inability to meet the high cost of rehabilitation of the facility, its GTG-2 Unit which was supposed to be a support has been over-burdened.
“The Akwa Ibom State Government will have to step in to provide funding for the rehabilitation of GTG-1 and buy-back all IPC debts and allow a payback from the company in 10 years period.
“The Gas Agreement must be reversed to ‘Take n’ Pay’ to match the current reality in power sector reforms.
“And the 132KV Itu-Aba transmission line must be re-conducted to evacuate more power from Ibom Power,’’ he said.
Etukudo, however, commended the successes recorded by the State Government which had reduced indebtedness and number of court cases from 33 to six.
“In spite of all the challenges, IPC has been able to forge ahead with the assistance of the current State Government.
“The governor of Akwa Ibom State, requested and collected a 685MW generation licence from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission in 2015 for the purpose of a 500MW 2nd phase.
“IPC has nearly eliminated court cases from 33 to six as at today.
“It has significantly reduced its inherited debts of over N10 billion to about 45 per cent.’’
Etukudo said the state had successfully completed some important tests and was planning to embark on other major inspections in August.
According to him, the IPC has won various awards among the generating companies in Nigeria and remains the number one safety and cleanest generation company.
He listed the challenges of the company to include a previous problematic Gas Sale Purchase Agreement and non-re-conducting of Itu-Aba, 132KV transmission line by TCN to evacuate more power from the IPC.
The engineer named other challenges facing the company to include non-refundable construction cost of the Ikot Abasi-Eket 132KV double circuit, huge inherited debts and communal disturbances, among others.
Edited By: Silas Nwoha (NAN)