11 January 2011

Nigeria: Chinese Consortium to Take Over Omotosho

A consortium of Chinese Firms, including SEPCOIII Electric Power Construction Corporation and China National Machinery and Equipment Import and Export Corporation is set to take over the 335megawatt capacity Omotosho Thermal Station in Ondo State, THISDAY has learnt.

It was gathered that this development is in line with the decision of the Federal Government to sell the power station to the contractors that handled its construction, due to the inability of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to operate the plant.

A top official of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) told THISDAY last weekend that after several discussions with Nigerian and Chinese firms, the Federal Government had settled for the Chinese contractors that built the plant.

"The fault that emanated from the plant is operator error. It is unfortunate that PHCN has been there for two years but cannot successfully run the plant," he said.

The source however, declined to give details of the deal but admitted that Omotosho plant was not among those initially listed for sale by BPE.

He said that government settled for the Chinese contractors because of their experience in the construction and management of power plants.

General Electric (GE) of the United States he said, had agreed to offer technical assistance to China National Machinery and Equipment Import and Export Corporation (CMEC), the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor for Phase 2 of Omotosho plant.

"Due to its long-standing relationship with CMEC in the power generation sector, GE will provide four Frame 9E gas turbines, accessories, generators and training to the EPC contractor for the expansion of the station," he said.

He said that the four 9E gas turbines for the expansion programme would be delivered in July this year.

The plant, which started in March 2005 with an installed capacity of 335 mw, has eight gas turbine units.

The Federal Government built the power plant through a credit line from China Export-Import Bank.

The three power plants that benefited from the credit line include Papalanto, a 335 MW capacity plant in Ogun state, which was developed by Chinese group SEPCO; Omotosho that was developed by China National Machinery and Equipment Import & Export Corporation (CMEC), and Geregu Power Station, a 138 MW capacity plant in Kogi State, developed by Siemens.

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