Why Abia Geometric Power Project Took 20 Years – Governor Otti

Abia State Governor Alex Otti stated that the 181-megawatt trapezoidal power plant in the state’s Aba region has been delayed for a variety of reasons.

On Thursday’s Politics Today broadcast on Channels Television, Otti of the Labour Party remarked, “This is a project that was started in 2004” during the government of Governor Orji Uzor Kalu.

The $800 million project, backed by Geometrics Power Limited, includes the building of a 27-kilometer natural gas pipeline with the potential to generate and distribute 181 megawatts of electricity.

Thanks to the work of Aba Power Limited Electric, a new power distribution corporation, approximately nine of the 17 local government units in the South-East state now receive electricity from the plant.

On Monday, Vice President Kashim Shettima inaugurated the geometric power plant in Aba, the state’s industrial powerhouse.

The power plant, regarded as Nigeria’s first integrated electricity facility, is located in the Osisioma industrial district of Aba, Abia.

Giving context for the project’s delay, Otti, a former bank chief, stated that sometime in 2010, the founder of Geometrics Power Limited and ex-Minister for Science and Technology, Bart Nnaji, approached him as an Executive Director of First Bank to appeal that the former bank that was funding the project had stopped it in the middle due to the global economic crisis.

He said, “We processed an $85m facility for him (Nnaji) but unfortunately, he couldn’t draw down on that facility because the board of the bank felt that because I was proceeding to Diamond Bank as CEO, it won’t make any sense to allow the country to withdraw the facility when the person that was going to manage it was not there.

“I headed to Diamond Bank which actually was the bank that was initially funding the project. On getting to Diamond Bank, we restructured the facility and saw it to completion by October 2014, the time I left Diamond Bank.

“But a lot of things happened thereafter that made it impossible for the project to take off. There was the unfortunate sale and resale of the Aba Invest Island and that took a life of its own.

“When that was resolves, Shell which owned the major oil block that was supposed to supply gas to Geometric has sold it to another company whose focus was not gas for domestic use but export

“By the time we took over on the 29th of May, we sat down with Geometric a few times and engaged with NNPC and NNPC deployed their partners and gas was made available.”

The governor stated that the facility presently supplies 141 megawatts of power, which can be increased to 181 megawatts once the final turbine is delivered.

According to him, the plant’s third turbine has been fired, and all three turbines are operating, with “power outages being the exception rather than the rule, as is the case at this time.”

Otti said it would be difficult to say that his predecessor, Okezie Ikpeazu played a role in the project, adding that there was no evidence that the Abia State Government has an equity in the plant. “I have set up a team to dig into the facts,” he said.

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