Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited, MESL, Concessionaire of Kainji and Jebba Hydro Electric plants, is to increase power generation by the plants to 1082 megawatts, MW. electricity The two plants currently generate 922 MW, with Jebba and Kainji producing 482 MW and 440 MW, respectively.
According to the Chief Operating Officer, COO, of Kainji and Jebba Plants, Jose Villegas Garcia, MESL the contract for the rehabilitation of Units 7 and 8 has been signed by Mainstream. When completed, the two units will deliver a combined 160 MW to the current output, placing electricity generation by Mainstream alone at well over 1,000 MW, he told journalists at a facility visit to the plants last weekend.
The COO said that Mainstream’s performance has been outstanding, considering the fact that when it took over the two plants in November 2013, Jebba was barely generating 385 MW, while Kainji was producing nothing. “With the level of commitment being demonstrated by the operators, we can assure the public that the recovery of the 760 MW installed capacity from the 8 units can be achieved within record time,” he said Garcia disclosed that after the take-over of the plants, Mainstream came up with the 5S principle of Sorting, Sorting in Order, Shining, Standardizing and Sustaining.
Consequently, he said that the maintenance floor which was like a junk-yard has been cleaned up, all leakages sealed and all units in operations well maintained after rehabilitation.
The COO commended the commitment of board, management and staff of company whom he said has exceeded expectations in terms of milestones achieved since the takeover of the plants. He said: “Since the takeover, the staff have been exposed to various training programmes in the country and abroad. We have had to send our staff to Austria, Japan and other parts of the world where they have received training in international best practice. “The plants are now working very efficiently because of the commitment of Mainstream. A lot of the staff worked here before the privatization.
It is the same people doing the same work but what has changed is that Maintsream brought new processes in terms of planning and procedure which have brought about change and efficiency. “When we started, we were bringing the Original Equipment Manufacturers(OEMs) to undertake the major maintenance work. But I can tell you that after the first, our staff understudied the OEMs while working on the second unit. Now our staff have acquired the technical knowhow to carry out the maintenance, in-country. We even discover that we have not only saved money in the process but even spent less time to complete the work.” “Spare parts were a major problem when Mainstream took over.
However, now we don’t have that problem anymore. We now have spare parts readily available when needed. We have a well-motivated staff who are very willing to deliver on their mandate. Unutilised power Engr. Garcia lamented, however, that the company’s greatest obstacle was the refusal to take power from the plants. He said that the units were often not allowed to operate optimally due to constant directives from the National Control Centre (NCC) to reduce power being put on the grid.
Sometimes he disclosed, a whole unit would be shut down when the NCC directs for such load reduction to the grid. The situation he said has been at the detriment of the units as frequent shut downs damage parts of the machines, thereby increasing maintenance costs. Power rejection by Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) has been identified as a major constraint in the industry which has prompted the federal government to commence a review of the current share structure of the DisCos, with a view to ceding some of them to new investors with more financial power to make them more efficient.