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News & Press Releases

NIPP: Contractor (not Rockson) Abandons projects over Breach of Agreements

THIS DAY Tuesday, March 25, 2008

As controversies over the expenditure on the power sector between 2000 and 2007 rages on, THISDAY investigation have revealed that one of the companies that was awarded contract for two projects under the national integrated power (NIPP) abandoned the project since eight months ago.

It was learnt that the company which was handling the 451MW Sapele Thermal Power Station, Delta State and the Calabar Thermal Station may have stopped work since eight months ago on the advice of its bankers.

The Federal Government’s projects under the NIPP are the Omoku Thermal Power station, Rivers state, Gbarain/ Ubie Thermal Power Station, Delta State, Ikot Abasi Thermal Power, Akwa Ibom State, Eyean Thermal power station, Imo State and Calabar Thermal Power, Cross River state.

THISDAY learnt that the decision of the company to abandon the project might not be unconnected with the Federal Government’s alleged failure to meet its contractual agreement, especially as it regards funding.

Speaking with this day at the site, of the Alaoji Power Station, one of the projects being handled by Rockson Engineering Ltd, a Federal Government consultant, Mr. Graham Jubb, said that the delay in moving the gas turbines from the Onne Ports, Port Harcourt, to the project site has affected the progress of the work.

Jubb, who is the Site Manager for PB Power, world’s biggest power plant company, said without getting the Turbines to the site, the job will not progress.

He affirmed that Rockson since last year has made series of efforts to move the turbines to the site because the heavy duty Turbines cannot cross the Imo River bridge, but efforts have not yielded results. He commended Rockson Engineering for the work done so far, asserting that the company has completed 95% of the Job.

The job by Rockson so far is very good. Every procurement is first class. The problem is that the equipments are down there at the Port and this is delaying the project. The delay is frustrating. It is getting into every body’s nerves. Every single day the project is being delayed he lamented.

He however, assured that if the turbines arrives the site, there must be commercial operation within 12 months since about 95% of the work has already been completed by the contractor.

Rockson has last week accused the Federal Government of delaying the projects’ take off by not meeting its contractual obligations.

THISDAY investigations revealed that the four Gas Turbines for the Alaoji projects brought into the country site in 2006 are still at the Onne Port, Port-Harcourt due to the inability of the contractor to move them to the project site.

Also, other equipments meant for the projects that arrived the country between 2006 and 2007 are also lying fallow at the same Ports as the consignments could not be cleared due to documentation problems.

Rockson was awarded Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract for some power projects, three of which are under the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP). The projects are for the Alaoji Power Station (Phase 1 and 2), expected to generate 1074MW Electricity, Egbema Power Station (lot 7: NIPP) for 230MW.

The NIPP was designed to generate 2,276MW from six Niger Delta Power Stations, plus 2,610MW from upgrading four Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Power Stations, plus 1,012MW from additional turbines for the Niger Delta Power Stations, all within a period of three years. This is a total addition of 5,989MW excluding Mambilla, a hydro Power Project which takes much longer to complete.

NIPP also includes transmission and distribution projects that are nationwide. The intent is to deliver the electricity generated to consumers every where in the country. Therefore, while most of the generation plants are in the Niger Delta, this is really only because, gas, (the required feedstock) is in the Niger Delta, it is far cheaper to build transmission lines to the consumers (US$ 0.3 Million per km). The Mambilla project is in the north, because that is where the Hydro Potential is.