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Sokoto tests first independent power project

Secretary to the Sokoto State Government (SSG), Professor Bashir Garba (right), with officials of Vulcan Elvaton Limited, during the testing of Sokoto’s 38mw Independent Power Project (IPP), on Thursday.

Sokoto State government has successfully conducted a test of its N3.8 billion Independent Power Project (IPP), whose contract was awarded in November, 2008.

The project, the first of its kind in the Northern part of the country, has an installed capacity of a minimum of 30 megawatts and a maximum of 38 megawatts.

The Chief Operating Officer of the contracting firm, Vulcan Elvaton Ltd, Mr Franklin Ngbor, told newsmen during the test, that the turbine of the project had already tested three times.

He said: “What remains now is the synchronisation of the plant with the fuel tank and the main evacuation line, down to the transmission line.

“The plant when fully completed, finally fired and integrated into the national grid, can work for five consecutive years nonstop.

“It is only after it works for five years, that it can be shut down for routine maintenance.”

The Director-General of the project, Mr Umar Bande stated that, the plant has a multiple type turbine that can use diesel, gas or LPFO.

According to Umar, the plant was now being tested on diesel, saying “it consumes 33,000 litres per day.”

The DG plans are afoot to sign a fuel supply security agreement, with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) or other major oil firms.

This, he noted, was to make the fuel supply cheaper, more sustainable and ensuring maximum operations of the plant.

The Secretary to the state government, Professor Bashir Garba, said so far, nine stages, out of 11, required for a successful test, have been carried out without hitches.

He said an agreement will soon be signed, between the state government and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), on the evacuation of the power to the national grid.

Garba explained that the project was necessitated by the epileptic power supply to the state from the national grid.

The SSG added: “The state would be enjoying nearly 24-hour power supply, when the plant becomes fully operational.

“This is a project that is worth celebrating, as power supply in Nigeria will be bolstered with, the injection of 38 megawatts to the national grid.

“This will also eventually boost the socioeconomic landscape in the state, curb poverty, restiveness and unemployment, among other myriad of direct and indirect benefits.