The three hydro-electric dams in Niger State are at present not operating at full capacity because a reasonable percentage of their turbines are obsolete, LEADERSHIP SUNDAY has learnt.
The oldest of the three dams is the Kainji hydro-electric dam with an installed capacity of 960 megawatts but can maximally generate 760 megawatts because only 8 of its 12 turbines are installed, while just three of them are working.
It was further learnt that though the eight turbines merely generate 600 megawatts, which has not been consistent because of turnaround maintenance problems.
Sources disclosed to our correspondent that the foremost hydro-electric dam in the country suffers neglect from the authorities, which have consistently failed to maintain its structures over the years.
The sources said the dam had been faced with problems of obsolete equipment and difficulty in accessing critical spare parts leading to no major overhaul being carried out on the dam since it was built over 40 years ago.
Also, at Shiroro Dam the story is not different as the capacity of the dams depend on the fluctuation of the water level, which had sometimes forced the authorities to shut down some of its turbines.
LEADERSHIP SUNDAY gathered that the Shiroro dam has installed capacity of 600 megawatts and has four turbines with each of them generating 150 megawatts.
The Public Relations Officer of the station, Mr. Samson Okpalla Esume, said that though the station has installed capacity of 600 megawatts, he was not in the position to speak on the current generating capacity.
At the Jebba Dam, which has an installed capacity of 540 megawatts, findings have shown that it does not operate at installed capacity because of obsolete equipment.
It was gathered that for over some years the dam hardly generates up to 300 megawatts
LEADERSHIP SUNDAY could not get the official generation capacity of the three dams because the authorities allegedly gave an order to the workers not to disclose such information without clearance from the Ministry of Power and Mines.