|Prof Barth Nnaji|
12 April 2013 –
Geometric Power, chaired by Barth Nnaji, recent minister of power in Nigeria, is undertaking the US$466 million Aba independent power producer (IPP) project to supply the Abia state capital Aba and surrounding areas, which contains an estimated 50,000 small and medium scale businesses, with power.
The first phase involves the building of a 141 MW plant, with another 47 MW to be added within a year to take this total to 188 MW. The project entails using a 27 km long gas pipeline from Owaza, near the Imo River, to feed the power plant. The project also has over 100 km of 33 kV lines with the intent of being able to transport power efficiently to various substations for distribution. It is also looking at the 11 kV network and upgrading the distribution network in general. The project has seen the building of four new substations, each with 2 x 15 MVA.
Nnaji says, “When we came into Aba, we found out that there were only three substations that belonged to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). So even if they had all the power that Aba’s people needed, they couldn’t distribute because of the constraint of the substations.”
He goes on to say, “A few years back, we and our technical partners undertook a study which we characterised as enumeration of consumers of all levels, which include residential, commercial and industrial consumers. This was in anticipation of what their needs would be in years to come, and we came out with the fact that they need 156 MW at peak level. Prior to this, the PHCN estimate was about 60 MW.”
Geometric power is developing a further phase of the Aba project. This will be a 450 MW project, where it has a joint development agreement with General Electric that will see that company begin to implement an original agreement to supply Nigeria with 10,000 MW of generation capacity.