The 140 megawatts (MW) Aba Integrated Power Project (IPP) being built by Geometric Power Systems Limited (GPSL), will come on stream in the first quarter of 2013, officials of GPSL have said.
With a financial outlay of about $500 million, the project which is expected to come on stream between January and February 2013, will amongst other things guarantee steady and reliable electricity to the industrial city of Aba and its environs.
Speaking on the progress of work on the power project, members of the project team comprising the Project Manager, Group Five of South Africa, Johan Riekert, Project Manager Pauwels/EMO Africa, Slobodan Bajkovic and Project Manager, ABB/GEC Power Lines, Joseph Otejere, stated that the first phase of the power project is nearing completion with the tightening up of its loose ends.
The power station, the first of its kind in the region, aims to serve Aba in Abia State, especially the industrial clusters at Aba whose productivity and viability have been drastically affected for several years by the inadequacy of the public power supply system from Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
The managers of the project stated that the plant is strategically located in Aba, which is convenient for such first industry-centered independent power plant, adding that infrastructural requirements such as gas pipelines and distribution networks are been tweaked to align with the projects designs and expectations.
"This is an integrated power project because it has a power plant and distribution network where we also have sub-stations, power line as well as gas pipeline all embedded in the project. Phase one of the project has 140MW and phase two is 540MW which is to serve as additional unit to the existing one while the phase three is 100MW which will be come later," they explained.
The project team also explained that Aba has three sub-stations and that the adequate electricity could not be delivered to the people because of inadequate evacuation infrastructure. This they said informed the decision to build another sub-station to complement the existing ones in Osisioma, Factory Road and Port Harcourt Road.
"We have also introduced different types of pools, the latest one is called the still tubular pools with different sizes to ensure no network failure no matter the condition of the weather and we are also constructing a pipeline of 27 km close to Port Harcourt."
They added: "The intention is that when the project is completed at the end of January-February 2013, Aba will have reliable electricity. This is the first company to have distribution license base in Aba with a project of this nature meaning we have many investors for such a project that requires about $500 million to set up."
Accordingly, Group Five of South African, Pauwels of Belgium and ABB lines Oilserv are all part of the consortium involved in the project.