19th March, 2012
Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has revealed the steps being taken by his administration to actualise the promise to provide uninterrupted 24-hour power supply in Port Harcourt and the entire Nigeraia’s southsouth state from December this year.
Governor Amaechi made the explanation, Sunday, during the second Dissecting The Amaechi Administration Media Briefing Series, at Government House, Port Harcourt, where he was represented by the Commissioner for Power, Augustine Nwokocha.
Nwokocha disclosed that N30 billion has been set aside to ensure that the administration meets this target.
He said what the Rivers State Government is doing to get 24-hour power supply this year is “to generate enough capacity, have a robust transmission infrastructure that will take the power to the people, to their neighbourhood and then have a very solid distribution infrastructure that will take it to their routes. And so we are addressing these three things – Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution”.
He further said, “and unlike the previous system where they were all given to one person, here we have a total of 10 outfits doing different things to ensure that we deliver on time”.
He said that what the state government has done differently is that it has divided this work into smaller units that are deliverable, faster and better.
It has also focused on getting the quality of men that can deliver this work and deliver them well.
“We have got Saipem Nigeria Limited to build a power substation. We have Weltech doing a medium voltage substation… We have selected people in that category, people who we believe can deliver based on their track record. Currently we are pursuing vigorously the transmission aspect of our power project,” he said.
According to Nwokocha, Amaechi’s administration has formed a committee of technocrats to deliver power to Rivers people, saying a reliable vendor has been found for power distribution in the state.
“We have identified a very veritable vendor with very reliable technology in distribution and transmission, Sunder Electrical of France and we have entered a contract with them to supply us all the materials that are required to stabilise power supply in the city of Port Harcourt and its environs,” he said.
“We have also given out contracts to build substations that will reduce the length of our feeders that sometimes stretch as far as 40 or 50 kilometres through all manner of places. So we are creating substations that will impact shorter span of the city with the capacity to back feed if a substation has problem, from another one so that we will have reliable power supply”, he added.
He also disclosed that contracts for the acquisition of all parts and components of power substations have been awarded.
“Currently, the contract for the acquisition of the parts and components required for this exercise have been awarded.
“The contract for those who will do the implementation, the construction has been awarded, some of them in clusters of three substations, five contractors. We didn’t want to repeat the mistakes of the past where one person was doing generation, transmission and distribution.
“So, we have seven contractors doing the distribution substations each handling only three and then we have a contractor trying to remedy the lapses that are in the transmission backbone, and you have another contractor handling strictly generation.”
Nwokocha said the model adopted by the Amaechi administration in power has delivered some results.
He also disclosed that currently the state power projects are generating 466 megawatts with an additional 150 megawatts coming from PHCN.
He said this capacity will increase to over 700 megawatts by the time the Phase 2 of the State Afam power project is completed next year.