By PHILIP IKPONKO
The Government of the Akwa Ibom State, promoter of Ibom Power Plant, was on Thursday issued an amended licence to increase its generating capacity from 190 megawatts to 685megawatts by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). Ibom Power Plant currently supplied 190mw to the
Receiving the licence on behalf of the State and the company’s management, Governor Emmanuel Udom was enthused by the near absence of bureaucracy and the speed with which the application to increase the generating capacity was treated by the Commission.
Governor Udom said, “Ibom is one of the first independent power project in the country. This achievement did not come as an accident. It is because the previous administrations in the state invested heavily in this sector.
“This is not a power plant that would have gas supply challenge. We have set up a gas processing plant that is supplying gas to the adjoin power plants. We would soon come for an embedded generation licence that would supply power to our industrial estates” to be established along the coastal line, Udom said.
The Governor appealed to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to improve its network ahead of the completion of the expanded power plant as he disclosed that the state government has invested $22million on transmission networks and that it would be a wasted investment if there would be no corresponding investment in transmission line by TCN to evacuate the generated power.
Speaking earlier, NERC Chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi said, “We are strict about our licensing procedure. That we are here today is an indication that the state and management of Ibom Power Plant have fulfilled those conditions.
They are not new to the process, they have done this before and they have shown they are equal to the task.”
“Akwa Ibom is a front runner in this respect and they have shown good example of public private partnership. We would give you all necessary assistance to achieve this,” Amadi said adding that the Commission expects more investments in the power sector from the state.
Ibom Power is a state government owned gas fired power plant that was licensed on May 12, 2008 to operate a 190megawatts plant. The company on December 19, 2014 submitted an application to amend its licence to 685mw.
That application was approved on October 27, 2015.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner Legal and Licensing and Enforcement, Dr. Steven Andzenge said that the Commission has issued 126 licences with combined capacity for 35, 314mw of on-grid; 428.12mw off-grid and 298mw embedded power generations.