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House of Reps urge Vice-President Shettima to summon emergency meeting of NDPHC board

The House of Representatives on Thursday, May 9, asked Vice President Kashim Shettima to immediately summon an emergency meeting of the board of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company to deliberate on the urgent resuscitation of the Gbarain Power Plant to enhance the efficiency of the national grid.
The House also summoned the Managing Director of NDPHC, Joseph Ugbo to appear before the House Committee on Power to explain the state of the Gbarain power plant and why it has been abandoned.

The Gbarain Power Plant located in Bayelsa state is an open cycle gas turbine power plant built to accommodate future conversion to combined cycle gas turbine configuration and is a 252 megawatts power station located in Koroama, Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

This followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance moved by the member representing Yenagoa/Opokuma Federal Constituency, Bayelsa state, Oboku Oforji.

Oforji alleged that the NDPHC was planning to turn the power plant to a construction site, adding that rather to carry out repair works on the plant that was affected by fire incident 2020, the management of the power plant has abandoned it even when the plant can meet the electricity need of the entire Niger Delta.

He also claimed that the gas allocated to the plant is currently not being utilised, posing travel danger for the people of the area, saying that it is the intervention of the Bayelsa state government that has prevented possible gas explosion in the area.

Oforji reminded his colleagues that the Niger Delta Power Holding Plants were built with resources of the three tiers of Government (Federal, State and Local Government) through the application of the excess crude funds.

He said: “Gbarain is one of the twenty three National Integrated power projects which has been deemed “Critical infrastructure in the generation, transmission , distribution and natural gas supply sub sectors of the electric power value chain” by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.

“On the 30th of November 2020 the Niger Delta Power Holding company (NDPHC) lost the Power Control Module (PCM) of the Gbarain power plant to an inferno. The Bayelsa State Government offered to take some responsibilities of the NDPHC, Since the state happened to be the most affected, particularly as the state owned Niger Delta University derives it’s electricity supply from the station.

“Accordingly, the state government undertook the rehabilitation and restoration of power supply through the 60MVA,132/33KV power transformer which is currently supplying the Gbarain power station auxiliaries and the host communities through the 215 MVA33/11KV injection substation which was not functioning before the intervention and also a NDPHC project.

“Three years down the line the NDPHC have not been able to live up to their responsibility by replacing the Power Control Module, which allegedly have been lying redundant in one of it’s uncompleted station.

“The Gbarain Power Station has close proximity of only 700m to the Gbarain_Ubie multi_million dollars Central Gas processing facility that transports over one billion, Standard cubic feet of gas to the NLNG in Bonny, therefore gas is not a constraint.

“One is prompted to doubt the competence of Niger Delta Holding Company to manage this power plant which has the potentials to be the largest power station in the nation because of its comparative advantage over other Power Plants as a result of it’s proximity to gas.

“Reaching its potentials, Gbarain Power Station can conveniently Power the whole Niger Delta Region and beyond.

“But rather than resuscitate the power plant which is built with four hundred million US Dollars, and valued at of today with over Eight hundred million US Dollars, the management of the NDPHC is proposing to designate the 252MW Open Cycle Power station as a construction site, thereby abandoning it’s primary responsibility of running it to the benefit of the state, the Niger Delta and the nation at large.

“In fact, the Shell Petroleum Development Company has over 60MMsc (sixty million Standard Cubic Feet ) of gas allocated to the plant which is  unutilised due to the inability of company to operate.

This in itself is a risk to the community In case of a leakage of the gas pipeline. it is the intervention of the Bayelsa State Government that has kept the equipment intact, because they are supposed to be under controlled temperature if not, they would have exploded.

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