Senate Joint Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy and Gas Resources has yesterday ordered the suspension of the planned commissioning of the multi-million dollars 215 megawatts power plant in Kudenda, Kaduna, over inconsistency in contract implementation between Power Ministry and Gas contractors.
The decision followed a one day investigative hearing on the “Urgent need to save the 215 MW Kaduna Power Plant”, presided by Senators Enyinnaya Abaribe and Albert Bassey in Abuja.
The power plant, which was inaugurated in 2009 by former President, Goodluck Jonathan to service textile industries in Kaduna has been three years behind the scheduled commissioning.
Lawmakers who were equipped with information on the gas plant became dissapointed, when the Permanent Secretary of Power, Mr. Louis Edozie, could not explain the change in parameters of the plant from gas powered plant to diesel powered plant contrary to the original design.
The Permanent Secretary further told the Committee of planned commissioning of one unit out of eight by January, 2018, adding that the plant would use diesel instead of gas.
Disclosing that diesel is expected to cost the country N46 million per day, the lawmakers, however, became alarmed at the cost and said it was cheaper for the plant to run on gas.
Chairman of GreenVille LNG, Eddy Van Den Broeke, who led his team to address the Committee said that the company had a Memorandum of understanding with the Kaduna Gas Plant to build storage facilities for the plant at no cost.
He also stated that while the plant would produce a kilowatt of electricity at N79 if run on diesel, it will produce the same kilowatt of power at N37.
He said that his company had, as a result of the MOU it signed with the Power Plant invested the sum of $400 million on its Gas plant in Roumuoji, Port Harcourt
“In 2014 when the parameters were signed it was agreed that LNG is most competitive. We have invested $400million after which people in the ministry decided to change the parameters.”
“It will cost $200 million more to use AGO (diesel) because there is no other fuel available that can replace LNG and GreenVille. I would want the ministry to give me one cent of response on this change of theory.”
Co-chairman of the Joint Committee, Senator Albert Bassey announced the suspension of the planned commissioning.
He said: “Please tell your Minister to stop the process of commissioning because the project cannot be ready even by mid next year.”
“We are insisting that it will be cheaper to run the plant with Gas and Gas is environmentally friendly. Let your Minister know we cannot be taken for granted.”
Decrying the change in parameters, Abaribe said: “We have heard a lot of disturbing things and we have seen that we have put the Cart before the Horse.”
“You see one price at N79 and the other at N35, why do you go for the higher cost which is not cost effective. If you are going to spend N46 million daily to run a plant and you said it is temporary, that is not effective.”