4 December 2012

Nigeria: ENCON to Supply Electricity to National Grid

As part of its strategies to remain relevant in the competitive electricity market, the Energy Company of Nigeria (ENCON) Plc, a subsidiary of the NEGRIS Group, is shifting focus from building captive power plants to the construction of mega power stations to supply electricity to the national grid.

Chief Operating Officer of NEGRIS Investment Limited, Mr. Musa Ojeifo, told THISDAY at the sidelines of a recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company in Lagos, that the change of focus was in line with the privatisation of the power sector, which had changed the dynamics of the sector.

Ojeifo said with the World Bank partial guarantee to power developers and the establishment of the Bulk Trader, the supply of power to the national grid has been made attractive to investors.

"The strategy is now to transit from captive power development to supplying power to the grid. Grid is the main market in the whole electricity industry. That is why our Ikorodu Power Plant, which will ultimately reach a capacity of 280 megawatts, is for the grid," he said.

He stated that in line with the power sector reform, the company had re-evaluated its strategies in order to position itself in the new electricity market.

Speaking earlier during the company's AGM, the Chairman of the company, Dr. Abidoye Ayoola, told the shareholders that the company was at the threshold of a major transformation to a big player in the emerging power market in Nigeria.

According to him, the company has been selected as one of the power providers to build a gas-fired plant at its existing site at Ikorodu, Lagos, under the power sector reform agenda.

He however noted that the Ikorodu Industrial Power Plant, which will have initial capacity of 144megawatts, did not resume sale of electricity in 2012 as earlier anticipated because of the non-resolution of the contentious issues in the off-take agreement.

Ayoola also told the shareholders that before the middle of 2013, the company would commence work on the 144megawatts-capacity power plant at the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone in Rivers State.

This project, he said, was as a result of the company winning the bid for 25 years power supply concession with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Federal Ministry of Transport.

"Both the Onne and Ikorodu projects are undergoing pre-development activities such as Environmental Impact and Social Assessment (EISA), preliminary engineering design, due-process compliance, technical, financial and legal diligence. The company has expended over N250million at its preliminary stage to bring the project to fruition," he said.

According to him, the two projects will cost about $450million or N72billion on completion.

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