The Shiroro Hydro Power Station has expended about N2.4 billion for the repairs of its four turbine generators to bring the plant to full capacity of 600 megawatts.
Dr Olubunmi Peters, SHPS Executive Vice Chairman, disclosed this on Wednesday to newsmen in Shiroro, Niger.
He said that the completion of the repairs of the intake gate of unit four of the plant would sustain the installed capacity of the station to generate 600mw power.
“The SHPS which is situated on Kaduna River in Niger state with four turbine generator units as Unit 1, 2, 3 and 4. Each unit has a capacity of 150mw, giving the station an installed capacity of 600mw.
“When we took over the station on Nov. 1, 2013, under a 30 years concession agreement with the Federal Government, it was then we got to know that the water intake of Unit 4 was damaged.
“The damage of the water intake was about 60 meters under zero visibility which was difficult to access and repair.
“This resulted to the reduction of SHPS output from 600mw to 450mw.
“But after several failed consultations with engineering companies, finally, we reached an agreement with the Tetra Tech Inc of USA to assess all structures and the damages through the use of deep water sona technology.
“It was then discovered that there was a large piece of concrete measuring about 6 meters by 2 meters in the scroll case of the unit,” he said.
Peters said that after a disagreement with Tetra Tech Inc, the power station then engaged Power China Company in conjunction with Sinohydro of China to complete the project.
He added that the project is one quarter of the power station generation capacity, adding that the station is fully upgraded to the installed capacity standard.
“The piece of concrete then resulted to structural failure at the water intake of Unit 4.
“The Power China used high-tech equipment to repair the structural damage on the lintel of Unit 4, and the bulk head.
“Now this piece of concrete has been removed from the scroll thereby restoring the output of Unit 4 to 150mw.
“The four Units are now very fully functional and each Unit will now be generating 150mw energy which will amount to 600mw energy generation,” he added.
Similarly, Mr Isaac Akanbi, Assistant General Manager Hydrology and Dams, said that the repairs of Unit 4 would restore the initial generation capacity of 600mw.
“This project is a great achievement so far, and we are happy that the unit can now generate 150mw which will be added to the 450mw that is being generated making it 600mw,” he said.
However, he explained that the continuous attacks by the Niger Delta Militants on power stations that uses gas to supply electricity was responsible for shortage of power supply in the country.
“Most of the power stations that uses gas have been disconnected from their supply. The few hydro power stations like Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro cannot feed the national grid.
“Unless the power generation is increased through restoration of some of those power plants, we may not be able to resolve the problem easily,” he added.