Shiroro Hydroelectric Power Station plans to construct a 300 megawatts photovoltaic solar power plant on its existing plant’s premises.
The company’s Chief Technical Officer, Roland Lwiindi, said the new facility is an initiative of the new concessionaire, North-South Power Company Limited, since taking over the plant on November 1, 2013.
Mr. Lwiindi told the Post Privatisation Monitoring Team of the Bureau of Public Enterprises that visited the power station in Niger State that once approval was obtained from the necessary authorities, its first phase would come on stream in 2017.
When completed, Mr. Lwiindi explained that the new facility, which would be the first of its kind in Africa, would raise the electricity generation capacity to the 900 MW.
The plant is currently generating 50 percent of its installed 600 MW capacity.
As a hydro powered power plant, the technical officer said the station’s generation capacity traditionally declines during dry seasons, pointing out that the proposed photovoltaic solar facility would shore up its power generation during the off peak seasons.
For the current dry season, Mr. Lwiindi said the plant would rely on the sun to produce electricity needed to make up for the short fall in power generation.
The management of the power plant, he said, had the requisite expertise to realize the envisaged gains of privatization, adding that Siemens Nigeria and Tetratec America were the company’s key technical partners.
He assured that with the infrastructural upgrade and technical expertise at the disposal of the company, the country would continue to witness improved power supply.
The Chief Operations Officer of the plant, Abdul-Aziz Daudu told the BPE monitors that since takeover by the new investors, the generators and three out of four turbines had been overhauled to boost power output from the power plant, with plans in place to overhaul the fourth turbine.
He also said that work was in progress to upgrade the Excitation Systems from analogue to digital, while a new programmable logic controller has been installed for improved power generation in line with the concession agreement.