Power generation capacity may witness an improvement with an addition of about 1,100 mega watt to the national grid following the commissioning of the National Independent Power Project’s 330KV Switching Station in Essien Udim, Ikot-Ekpene, Akwa-Ibom State on Monday.
The station is to help evacuate power from Ibom Power plant, Clabar Power, Alaoji Power, and from Afam Power to boost power to Uguaji and support Makurdi that has always recorded low voltage.
Prior to this developmet, the four power plants with a combined capacity of 1,800 Mega Watts (MW) had been wheeling out about 600 to 700MW, leaving about 1,100MW stranded, Worldstage reports.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing , Raji Babatunde Fashola who commissioned the station said it will now reduce the issue of stranded power in the South Eastern region.
“So when they said stranded I said can’t it work ? But what stranded power rally means is that over the years we built power plants either without providing the gas so that there is one side of stranded power. There are plants ready to work no fuel.”
“The other side of stranded power is where there is gas like here in Akwa Ibom. You have Ibom Power plant with gas ready to go, you have Alaoji with gas ready to go , you have Afam with gas ready to go and you have Calabar power all ready to go. Between them, they have a combined capacity of 1,800MW but they are delivery roughly about 600 to 700MW,” he said.
“So the rest of that power has no legs. It is stranded. So this is why this switching station is important because it would help us as you have heard from our contractor evacuate power from Ibom Power, Calabar Power , Alaoji Power and from Afam. And it will help us boost power all the way to Uguaji and also support Makurdi which has been experiencing low voltage problem as we go on.”
Fashola said that he was only switching on part of the station , stressing that the extra power from Alaoji and Ibom would not happen overnight since there was still a lot of work to be done.