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Refurbished Egbin plant to boost power supply

By on August 23, 2013

Seven years after it lost its full installed generation capacity as a result of a faulty turbine, the Egbin Power Plc said it had bounced back to its installed capacity following a N1bn repairs on its sixth turbine unit (ST-06).

The Chief Executive Officer of the plant, Mr. Mike Uzoigwe, who addressed journalists at the plant on Wednesday, said the nation’s biggest power plant was ready to add 220 megawatts to the national grid.

The power plant, which has installed capacity of 1,320MW, has suffered a setback for some years due to ageing parts and paucity of funds to upgrade the facility.

Egbin was built about 30 years ago to operate on six turbine units at 220MW each, until 2006, when unit six exploded due to some water tube challenges.

The power plant was generating about 700MW before suffering a system collapse.

Uzoigwe, who confirmed the system collapse, said, “Power would be restored in a short while, due to its new ‘black-starting’ mechanism. Before now, system collapse takes power plants in Nigeria about five days to restore electricity, but the black-starting technology will make it possible within hours.”

Uzoigwe explained that the plant would be operating at full capacity soon, after about seven years of partial operation.

He noted that the plant repair contract was awarded to an original equipment manufacturer, Hitachi of Japan.

He said the company had spent so much money to procure some parts of the plant, adding that all the cannibalised parts were replaced between 2011 and 2012.

He said the management of the plant had also awarded contracts for the final repairs of the plant, saying these were valued at N1bn.

He said, “Repair of unit six will last for 90 days after which the unit should be handed over completely repaired and ready for operation.

“Work effectively started on July 1, 2013 and is still going on. This will lay to rest the rumours that money meant for ST-06 repairs was diverted sometime in the past.”