Cross River State government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a consortium of energy firms led by Foot-Print Africa to deliver a 750mw power plant in the state.
The project which has 18-month timeline will be deployed through ship mounted turbines, expected to soon berth in Calabar.
In the interim, a 40 megawatts of electricity is to be delivered in the next three months through a truck-mounted turbine as an emergency measure.
According to the lead consultant and Chief Executive Officer of African Discovery Group, Mr. Alan Kessler, the power will be delivered at no cost to the state, stressing: “The system is of course free of charge and it will not offer any upfront cost to the people and government of Cross River State,” adding that “the ship will berth nearby and power can be conducted into the grid.”
Justifying the venture: Kessler explained “At the end of the century, Nigeria will have more people than the United States, you need electricity to grow,” describing the new technology as quick, efficient and consistent.”
Kessler who acknowledged the vital role of electricity in the society as well as the current poor power supply in the country, reasoned that the power needs of the country will increase by the end of the century due to the increase in population. He noted that there was need to fix the power need to meet the industrialization quest of government because it has been a very bane to development in Africa.
Offering further insights into the operation of the new technology, Kessler said that the firm has ships based in Singapore of which “we are replacing the hull of the ship with turbines from Siemens,” and run natural gas in which you have in abundance in your region to power the 42 individual turbines that will generate 750mw and plug into your grid.”
Responding, Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade who described the partnership as a dream come true said: “I am happy that this project does not come at any cost to us. Happy that one of the key emphases is to provide uninterrupted power supply and Cross River will soon be listed as the first state with 24/7 power supply in the country.”
On the proposed emergency power supply, Ayade appealed to the consortium to reverse its proposed three months deployment of the 40mw truck mounted turbine power to two months so as to complement the 21mw embedded plant which is nearing commissioning for use during the yuletide.”
The governor who disclosed that the power needs of the state was in the region of 300mw and that extra 200mw will be kept for stability, while the remaining 250mw will be sold out to neighboring Cameroun to generate revenue.