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Tinubu To Commission $800m Geometric Power In Aba

President Bola Tinubu will on Monday commission Nigeria’s only integrated power project, the $800 million (eight hundred million dollars) Geometric Power Aba Limited (GPAL) in Osisioma Ngwa Local Government Area of Abia State.

GPAL is licensed to produce 188 Megawatts (MW) and is currently Nigeria’s only integrated power project, as it has its own embedded power plant, which enables it to generate and distribute its own power, separating it from other electricity companies that either generate or distribute electric power, as none can generate and distribute power as it would.

Saturday Telegraph reports that the electricity generation company in the Geometric Power Group (GP) is Geometric Power Aba Ltd, (GPAL), while the distribution company is Aba Power Limited Electrical (APLE), which services nine (9) of the seventeen (17) local government areas (LGAs) in Abia State.

These nine Local Government Areas, Aba South, Aba North, Osisioma Ngwa, Obingwa, Ugwunagbo, Ukwa East, Ukwa West, Isiala-Ngwa South and Isiala-Ngwa North collectively make up the Aba Ring-fenced Area where GPAL in charge of producing and distributing electricity.

Addressing newsmen in a pre-commissioning press conference, the Chairman of the company, Professor Barth Nnaji said that GPAL has invested almost $800m in the integrated power project, making it by far the largest investment in the Southeast geopolitical zone of Nigeria.

He explained that so far, GP has installed three turbines purchased from General Electric (GE) of the United States, the oldest and largest electricity equipment manufacturing company in the world, with each producing 47MW to enable it to achieve the 188MW it was licensed to produce when the fourth is installed.

Nnaji however explained that the fourth turbine will be installed when the demand for power increases substantially, stressing that by their records, Aba cannot immediately consume all of the 141MW coming from three turbines, hence the need to scale up the capacity to 188MW when the consumption increases.

The Geometric Power Chairman also specifically said that the Monday commissioning of the entire power project by President Bola Tinubu will not automatically guarantee 24-hour electricity to the city of Aba, but will rather trigger the process of achieving steady power supply, stressing that the launching of the turbines will be done in phases.

He however explained that the mission of achieving a steady power supply to Aba is already accomplished as the plan on the ground is to ensure that the date gap between the usage of the first turbine which will start producing 47MW from Monday and the usage of the second turbine will not exceed three weeks interval.

“The commissioning of the turbines will be staggered. They would be commissioned one by one. The first turbine will increase the power supply to the Aba Ring-fence Area by 47MW, which is almost double the current 25MW supply from the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC).

“When the first turbine is commissioned, it will be monitored closely. Once the performance is considered satisfactory, the second turbine will be commissioned. The same process will be followed in commissioning the third turbine,” Nnaji said.

Nnaji equally said that GP is prepared to help Nigeria solve the current challenges in power as excess power from the turbines will be sent to the national grid to assist other parts of Nigeria to receive more electricity, stressing that Aba and the environs may not absorb more than 100MW right now as their records show.

According to Nnaji, “The company has built a 12-inch 27-kilometre natural gas pipeline from Owaza in Ukwa West LGA of Abia State to the Osisioma Industrial Layout in Aba where the 188MW thermal plant is located. The pipeline is dedicated to the power plant, to ensure an uninterrupted gas supply.

“GPAL has built four brand new distribution substations and refurbished the three existing ones inherited from the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to boost the quality of electricity available in the 9 LGAs it services.”

Nnaji explained that it is as a result of its commitment to provide world-class electricity services to its customers, GPAL installed the biggest tubular poles available anywhere in the world, which is seen all over Aba currently.

“The tubular poles are also of the highest quality. Tall as they are, their foundations are buried about nine metres into the ground. They cannot easily be knocked down by vehicles or equipment. They are also designed to withstand natural disasters like earthquakes,” he said.

He said that in a move to enhance transparency, probity and integrity in service delivery to its customers, APLE has embarked on an aggressive mass metering campaign in addition to the one initiated by the Federal Government.

Nnaji further said that in line with the regulations of the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), individuals and businesses receive prepaid meters under this programme free of charge.

He explained that the Aba Ring-fenced is made up of 31 feeders and because of the huge cost implications which range in billions of naira, APLE is currently installing the prepaid meters from feeder to feeder, rather than all 31 feeders in the Aba Ring-fenced Area simultaneously.

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