The failure of government to complete and commission the 245 MW Kaduna power plant has been blamed on the seizure of the 156 million Euro worth of equipment by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
Officials of the Ministry of Power on Tuesday disclosed this to the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy, headed by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe. The Senate committee, which is presently on tour of installations in Kaduna State, was informed by officials of the ministry that the equipment meant for the facility in Kaduna has been stuck at the Onne Port, Rivers State since 2015.
Priscilla Sakpe, an engineer and Director of Distribution at the Ministry of Power, who briefed the Senate Committee during the tour of the power facility said repeated appeals to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and other agencies in Onne, Rivers state, had proved fruitless noting that port authorities had confiscated19 containers containing accessories critical to the installation of the Kaduna Power Plant.
Sapke told the committee said that several containers were initially seized by the Port between 2012 and 2014 but that a number of the containers were released to General Electric and Rockson Engineering, contractors to the Plant on payment of 50 percent of an agreed demurrage while the remaining 19 have been lying at the Onne Port since 2015. She said:
“The directive is that they (the Port) should release government’s goods and talk later about commercial issues but they refused.”
She said that refusal has eventuated in the non-completion after several years of a project billed initially to be completed in two years. She stated as things stand it is difficult to say when the project would be completed.
The Dual Fired LPFO/Gas215 MW Kaduna Power Plant was initiated in 2009 and slated for completion in 2011 but the shift in the original location at Kakuri in Kaduna Metropolis to the current location at Kudeda was said to have necessitated the change in the completion date.
Officials of General Electric and Rockson Engineering who were also on the trip, informed the Senator Abaribe led committee that the project could come on stream in November this year if the seized equipment are released. Besides the 215 megawatts plant, the Gurara Dam is also expected to supply 30 megawatts to the power plant to take its capacity to 245 megawatts.
Abaribe, the committee chairman, who led 10 other Senators on the tour said that the Senate, expressed disappointment that the completion date of the Power installation remained uncertain years after it was initiated. He said:
“The Committee is not very pleased at the cost overrun and the time overrun. This is a project that should have been completed years back but we are not even sure when it will be completed because some of these also infringe on cost components and our worry is for the Nigerian public who are going to pay for this.
“We are not pleased that if we are not careful we may end up getting a white elephant project from this. Whatever this committee needs to do to get this project completed, we are ready to do.
“We will be interacting with the Minister of Power and also with his counterpart in the Ministry of Water Resources, because the Gurara Dam is also part of the problem.”