The Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited (NDPHC) which superintends the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) has inaugurated the 330kV switching station located in Essien Udim / Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Awka Ibom State.
Its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Chiedu Ugbo, said the projects started in 2006, but disrupted by poor funding and communal problems, which led to protracted court cases. He added that with the support of the Federal Government, the projct saw the light of day.
He listed the components of the facilities to include the 35KM 330kv Alaoji Substation to Ikot-Ekpene substation double circuit line to evacuate power from NIPP Alaoji Power Plant; the 70.3km 330kv double circuit line from Calabar to Ikot Ekpene to evacuate power from NIPP Calabar power plant.
Others are the 162km 330kV double circuit line which evacuates all power from Ikot Ekpene switching station to the grid at Ugwuaji; and the 12-circuit Ikot Ekpene 330kv switching station that will serve as the central switching hub for receiving generated power from four generating locations at Alaoji, Afam, Calabar and Ikot-Abasi.
At the event were Akwa Ibom State Deputy Governor Mr. Moses Frank Ekpo, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, Finance and Administration, NDPHC, Mallam Babayo Shehu, among others.
According to a statement by NDPHC’s Communications and Public Relations General Manager, Mr. Yakubu Lawal, Ugbo said the switching station has boosted transmission capacity of the country, adding that it will wheel all the power to the grid via the 330kv double circuit lines to Ugwuaji, New Haven and to Makurdi and Jos in the northcentral zone.
He said: ‘’The robust interventions of NDPHC management with strong support and assistance from both our Board Chairman, the Vice President and the Minister of Power, Works and Housing are reasons we have successfully tackled those issues to make the projects available now for inauguration and use by the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry.’’
When completed, Ikot-Ekpene 330kV switching station and these lines will become a 2,400Mw evacuation facility addition to the grid, he said, adding that the completion level at the switching station has a 1,200Mw capability in place. The NIPP generating stations of Calabar and Alaoji with a combined installed capacity of over 1,100Mw are connected through this corridor to the grid, he added.
Ugbo said the switching station and the interconnecting lines have three benefits to the transmission networks in the country.These include increased reliability as other heavily loaded lines will be relieved and made more stable as more paths will be available for power in the face of contingencies; more exchanges between parties in the energy market will become possible due to availability of new transmission paths; and the lack of generation in the north will now be alleviated leading to a more equitable distribution of energy for the Nigerians.
NDPHC under the management recently signed Partial Risk Guarantee Pact between the Federal Government, World Bank and Seven Energy in Abuja to facilitate operation at its Calabar Power Station.
Fashola said all the power plants in the Eastern region have combined capacity of 1,846Mw comprising 561Mw Calabar, 450Mw in Alaoji, 185Mw Ibom power and 650Mw Afam VI, which were producing 100Mw each for the first three power plants mentioned and 300Mw for the Afam VI, all totalling 600Mw. With the inauguration of Ikot Ekpene Switching Station, there will be incremental output until full capacity is available to add an extra 1,246MW to the grid.
The minister commended the management of NDPHC who midwifed the project and the focused dedication of Ugbo and his team for this great success.
Source: The Nation