Mr Chiedu Ugbo, Managing Director, Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), has disclosed that the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has taken over Egbema and Omoku power plant projects from Rockson Engineering Limited over delays in completing them. Recall that the two plants are part of 10 gas-fired power plants being built under the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) under the management of NDPHC.
Ugbo, who spoke on Presidency This Week, a television programme, which showcased the activities of the federal government, said the delay by the contractor, Rockson Engineering, had hampered the completion of Egbema in Imo State and Omoku in Rivers State. “I must say that the ones that have not been completed have been under one contractor, Rockson Engineering, due to contractor delay. But we have found a way around the contractor issue now. We are working with the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), which has taken over from the contractor under a receivership, with the full support of AMCON to complete these projects,” he said. For the Gbarain NIPP in Bayelsa State whose initial unit was put into operation this year, Ugbo said NDPHC is working to commission the second unit by February 2019.
Ugbo lauded the federal government for the intervention to sustain the operations of power Generation Companies (GenCos) through the N701 billion payment assurance guarantee. Again he said; “Were it not for the N701billion, generation companies would have folded up by now. We are very grateful to the federal government for that singular decision of the minister who made that recommendation.”
Ugbo also said there are huge interventions at the distribution level to enhance the supply of electricity to the end users. “There is a lot we are doing. We have a lot of investment in the value chain from the gas infrastructure up to distribution to the end users,” he noted. He, however, highlighted the key challenges of funding, vandalism and right of way issues. “Since our generation plants were completed, we have been relying on what we receive from the electricity market. Whatever we receive, we put back into the electricity supply industry. “These are in addition to the expenses in operation and maintenance of the plants but we don’t get enough from the market,” he noted.