US technology giant General Electric (GE) and Transcorp Ughelli Power Ltd (TUPL), power subsidiary of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp), have recently signed an agreement to expand the capacity of TUPL’s Ughelli power plant by1000 Mega Watts over the next three to five years.
The deal, signed at a closed door meeting between Transcorp and Heirs Holdings chairman Tony Elumelu and GE global chairman Jeffrey Immelt, followed a cooperation agreement executed by Transcorp and GE last year.
Heirs Holdings, Elumelu’s pan-African proprietary investment company, is Power Africa’s largest private sector investor and a major investor in Transcorp.
“We are very pleased to work with GE, a proven world leader in power technology development, on the Ughelli plant expansion project,” Elumelu said in a statement.
Immelt said: “GE fully appreciates the confidence expressed by Transcorp. We are happy to bring the considerable resources of GE to support Transcorp’s audacious vision for Nigeria’s Power industry.
“This partnership with Transcorp underlines GE’s deep commitment to developing the Nigerian power sector.”
Both parties have also signed a separate agreement to rehabilitate the damaged GT 15 turbine at the Ughelli plant, which will add 115MW to the plant’s output. Currently, the Transcorp Ughelli power plant generates 360MW of electricity, up from 160MW on November 1, when Transcorp took ownership of the plant.
With the additional 115MW, as well as other rehabilitation works planned at the plant, output at Ughelli will increase to 700MW by December 2014. The Ughelli power plant is said to be Nigeria’s largest gas-fired electricity generation asset.
Purchased by Transcorp during the 2013 power privatisation programme, the US$300 million plant is part of the US$2.5 billion investment pledge made by Elumelu to deliver affordable, accessible power to Africa under the Power Africa Initiative.
The oil-rich but ‘corrupt’ country is Africa’s second-largest economy, but like any African country, it has serious electricity problems due to decades of negligence, under-investment, dubious policies and state corruption, among others.
Electricity demand in Nigeria will peak at 107 600 mega watts by the year 2020, Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) said, adding that the government should be able to generate power to meet this huge demand through alternative sources of energy, Sweet Crude reported.
Photo: The city of Lagos. Credit: Sweet Crude