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FG renegotiating Egbin Power Plant transfer to Korean Company – Barth Nnaji

By on August 22, 2011

The Federal Government says it is currently renegotiating agreement for the transfer of Egbin Power Plant to Korean Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) which won 51 percent stakes for Nigeria’s largest plant four years ago.

The company clinched the stake with the sum of $280 million. The station has 1,320 mega watts installed capacity but currently generates less than 1,000 mega watts.

Minister of Power Professor Barth Nnaji told reporters at the weekend that the renegotiation became necessary because the agreement was made a long time ago and its terms could no longer hold.

He said the renegotiation of the agreement also means that the transfer of the asset to the Korean Company earlier speculated to hold at the end of this year has been postponed.

“There was an existing agreement to sell the Egbin Plant under the Federal Government’s equity. And since the agreement had not been done years ago, it behoves that before any investment in it, there should be a revisit, a renegotiation. The transfer of the plant cannot possibly happen this December,” he said.

Workers of the plant had in recent time expressed fears that the asset would be transferred to the buyer in December amid speculation of job losses.

But the minister, who spoke during the tour of the Plant, assured the workers that they would not lose their jobs if the asset is eventually transferred.

He said: “It seems you are afraid of job loss. Don’t be afraid because what is going to happen here is not about getting anybody off work. There is nobody that is interested in that rather to make it possible for you to make your job better than the way you are doing it now.

“If anybody is here to just say that we want to take over the Plant and recruit new people, where is he going to get the new people? Don’t be afraid of privatization. Don’t be afraid of job loss because that is not what the programme is all about.”

The minister, who said the plant provides 25 percent of electricity generation to the country, commended its workers for their commitment and dedication to duty.

He promised that the Federal Government would in no time provide N1.5billion for the repair of the unit 6 of the plant.

The minister also promised that the country would achieve 5000MW by the end of this year, as the administration is determined to ensure that all challenges besetting the power sector are tackled.

Earlier in his speech, Chief Executive Officer of the Plant, Engineer Mike Uzoigwe told his visitor that if N1.5 billion is provided by the Federal Government, the station would bring back extra 220MW with the repairs of the unit.

He said: “Somebody gave Mr. President our profile earlier in the year and he wrote me a personal letter requesting that we do our best to serve Nigeria with our job.

“In return sir, please present our request to the President and tell him we will bring back extra 220MW with repairs of ST-06. He will be here to commission it by the special grace of God. We also need more funding to change obsolete technology in our various plant systems and be able to easily source spares.”

The 27-year old plant has five of its six units belting power. It has the capacity of providing 35 percent of the nation’s power needs.

The renovation of the gas turbine by the staff costs the plant N100 million. It would have cost the government about N200 million.

Daily Trust