Korean firm buys Nigeria's power plant


The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) on Thursday approved the sale of 70 per cent of Egbin power plant in Lagos to a Korean firm, KEPCO for $407.3 million.

The Chairman of the Technical Committee of NCP, Mr Atedo Peterside, stated this in an interview with State House Correspondents in Abuja after the monthly meeting of the Council.

The meeting was presided over by its chairman, Vice President Namadi Sambo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Peterside said the Egbin plant was currently valued at over $670 million, more than the $549 million placed on it in 2007.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Federal Government began negotiations in 2007 to sell only 51 per cent equity share of the plant to the firm.

He also revealed that the Council approved the sale of power generation plants at Omotosho in Ondo and Olorunsogo in Ogun to Chinese firms as part of the ongoing privatisation programme of the power sector.

Peterside said the two plants, Omotosho and Olorunsogo, which were being constructed by the Chinese firms, were valued at $166 million.

According to him, the NCP offered the plants on right of first refusal to the Chinese firms.

He said this was because they would naturally understand the plants better and have agreed to a sale price the Council considered reasonable enough.

He said that except for Afam plant, “every other power plant owned by PHCN now has a core investor”.

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The Chief Executive Officer of Forte Oil, a partner of Amperium Consortium, Mr Akin Akinfetiwa, presented a confirmation of payment of $33 million and a local component of N519.12 million paid into NCP’s account.

Peterside, who received the confirmation letter on behalf the NCP, said the amount represented 25 per cent down payment for acquiring 51 per cent share of Geregu power plant.

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Musa Sada, also briefed the correspondents on the outcome of the meeting.

He said the Council deliberated on the report of the progress being made by the Attorney-General of the Federation on the issue of arbitration delaying the privatisation of the Ajaokuta steel plant and Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON).

“We are beginning to see that very soon we are likely to conclude some of those issues, such that BPE will take full charge of these two important facilities that are appropriately privatised, not the way it happened before that is now putting us into these issues.

“This time, it will be in such a way that they will come back to contribute the way that they are expected to as major industrial backbone of the Nigerian economy,” Sada said.

The Acting Director General of the BPE, Mr Benjamin Dikki, also announced the NCP’s approval of five draft bills for onward transmission to the Federal Executive Council for further approval.

They are the Inland Waterway; Ports; Railways; Road sector and the National Transport Commission bills.

He said the Council also approved the NIPOST reform bill, which he said, would make the postal agency to return to its role of regulating the industry.