Gbarain Power Plant’ll Soon Become Operational – NDPHC Boss

By Sunday Etuka, Abuja

The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), Mr. Chiedu Ugbo has assured that the 253 megawatts Gbarain Power Plant will soon become operational.

Mr. Ugbo gave the assurance while addressing members of the House of Representatives Committee on Power who were on an oversight visit to the plant on Tuesday.

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Located in Koroama, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, the open cycle gas turbine power plant was built to accommodate future conversion to combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT).

Ugbo told the lawmarkers that cash flow constraint was the major issue that delayed the resuscitation of the Power Control Module that got burnt.

The NDPHC boss who said that the Gbarain Power Plant was still a construction site when he came on board in 2016, explained: “We had to put a unit to the grid and unfortunately the temporary power control module put in place got burnt. But at the time it happened, we had a more pressing threat to the community which was the line pipe laid before 2015 was being washed away by River Nun.

“It got to a point when the pipeline was dangling on top of the river and no responsible management will ignore such tremendous threat to the host community. We shut down the plant, made sure we fix that pipeline by doing a horizontal direction by burying it many metres away.

“We couldn’t take the two capital intensive projects together because of our financial limitations. Right now, we are being owed close to N200 billion forever because as NBET is paying, it is accumulating more.

“We have completed the line pipe project, and the entire community is now safe. It is now time to confront the PCM issues and we have informed the original equipment manufacturer, Scheider, we have done the procurement but to fast-track the resuscitation of Gbarain, we are moving one from one of our sites and replace it with the one that will be purchased.

“However, all the engineering and gas assets being well preserved, and the plant is obviously well maintained. It was just coincidental that the resolution was tabled otherwise, we were already well on the way to fixing the problem”, Ugbo said.

On the date that the PCM would be fixed, Ugbo said, “being an engineering issue, it will be difficult to mention a particular date immediately. To assure the Honourable member representing Yenagoa, Okpokuma federal constituency, Hon. Oboku Ofoji that our team will sit with representatives of Bayelsa State Government and agree on timelines to bring the equipment and install it.

“This was the first site I visited after I resumed as managing director. There was a procurement for reinforcement of the 1.5-kilometre gas pipeline from Shell facility to this place. It was on the bank of River Nun”, he said.

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