BAYELSA OWNED IMIRINGI GAS-TURBINE TO BE FULLY BACK ON STREAM SOON FOR IMPROVED POWER SUPPLY.
The Bayelsa State Government says, it is sparing no efforts at getting its Kolo Creek Gas Turbine fully back on stream to boost electricity supply in the state.
Briefing newsmen on the state of the turbine in Yenagoa, the Commissioner for Energy, Barrister Francis Ikio, explained that, the turbine is currently undergoing refurbishment in Vancouver, Canada at a total cost of 800,000 pounds.
Flanked by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Daniel Iworiso-Markson and the Special Adviser on Energy, Engr Olice Kemenanabo, the Energy Commissioner sympathised with the people of the state, especially those affected by the power outage, occasioned by the breakdown of the turbine, since the last quarter of 2013.
According to Barrister Ikio, repair works on the power generating machine has reached an advanced stage of completition and would be freighted back to the state as soon as the contractors, Heintzmann UK Limited, were through with what he described as balancing aspect of the job.
The Energy Commissioner quoted a progress report by the contractors, which read in part that, “completion of repair and refurbishment of Olympus unit 2024017 will be ready for performance test the week of May 26, 2014.”
He dismissed reports making the rounds that, government was not serious about restoring power supply to the affected parts of the state, as cheap blackmail by mischief makers, stressing that the present administration was committed to the welfare of Bayelsans without any form of discrimination.
His words, “I remember we had given an expected date of completion, but because of technical reasons, we didn’t deliver, and as it is usual, there are complaints; some properly founded and others intended to set confusion and blackmail by mischief makers.
“I want to say with all seriousness that this government is committed to the welfare of Bayelsans generally without any form of discrimination; Nobody is to be made to feel inferior or suffer some pain for whatever reason because we are not playing politics with the development of any part of Bayelsa.
Responding to a question on high electricity tariff in the state, the commissioner said government did not at any time promised to subsidize bills of electricity consumers in the state, but would rather ensure that they are not unfairly billed.
“As far as I am concerned, since I became a Commissioner, we have not made a promise of that nature. We have not promised anybody that fees would be reduced. Privatization is global. There are so many electricity distribution companies in the country, and so ours cannot be different. Secondly, our investment in the distribution company is minimal.
“The Bayelsa State Electricity Company Limited only holds a 2 per cent stake. So, in corporate governance, a 2 percent holder cannot say we have reduced electricity bill. Then what will happen to the profit for the entire company. In addition, there is a regulated bill by the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). So we cannot reduce it. What we promised is that we will ensure that nobody is made to pay anything higher in the country.”
In his contributions, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Energy, Engineer Olice Kemenanabo highlighted the efforts of the Hon. Seriake Dickson-led administration in providing a robust power generating system in the state.
According to Engineer Kemenanabo, apart from conducting baseline studies and signing of various MOUs on power generation, the government is in the process of building a 100 megawatts power plant at Imiringi in Ogbia local Government Area of the state.
He explained that, government decided to refurbish the faulty component (gas generator) of the turbine instead of purchasing a brand new one, because it was more cost effective to do so.
“The new gas generator you are referring to is not a readily available part in the market. For you to have a brand new gas generator to replace an existing one, a lot of engineering work is involved. It takes not less than 18 months to get one gas generator from its manufacturers. So, we are looking at the advantage of using an existing facility to create something that will be newer,” Kemenanabo explained.