IP is strategic to the vision of Gov. Emmanuel – Board Chair
The Board of Directors for Ibom Power Company has hit the ground running with its invitation to investors and stakeholders in the power industry to take advantage of its public private partnership (PPP) model, saying it is in a hurry to drive the company into its second phase.
This was part of the Board’s position yesterday, March 30, 2017, when it undertook facility tour of the power plant at its operational headquarters in Ikot Abasi. The facility units inspected were; the control room, distillation system, storage tanks, laboratory, cooling system, gas yard, switch yard, amongst others. The tour was preceded by a general meeting with management and staff of the company.
Briefing the media at the tour site, the Board Chairman, Engr. Etido Inyang said the GT3 is currently running and that the GT2 as explained by the MD, Engr. Meyen Etukudo and the technical team, has just been fixed. ‘At the control room, we realized that even though the GT3 is producing 115mw of power, only 70mw is being transmitted as of today because of constraints in the Aba-Itu line on heavy loads’. This, he said was as a result of some faulty conductors but added that the Board has noted the problem and will work towards fixing it.
The problem of evacuation was also explained by Engr. Inyang who directed the blame at the federal government. He said there is no where in the country that should be losing power as the IPC has enough power to supply Nigeria.
He described the systems installed at the plant site as state-of-the-art. ‘The control room is where problems are identified and diagnosed. We have gone through the water system, distillation system, storage tanks, and the lab to see how all these are being tested and kept safe.
‘ The cooling system completely harmonizes. We have looked at the gas yard and the switch yard which pose lots of challenges. The switch yard is okay but evacuating from the switch yard is a constraint’.
Following these, the chairman said the Board will look into three options as presented by the MD.
‘We are going to look into the most economic viable options and then prioritise as to what to do first, second and third so that we can leverage on that, not only to make money but to provide Nigerians with power and ensure that the communities of Akwa Ibom, in line with the vision of Governor Udom Emmanuel have access to 24/7 power.
‘With the industrialization vision of the governor, a lot of investors are coming in from the power industry and other sectors; the Board is here to work with the management team to ensure that before or at the end of the year, IPC will stay on top in the industry and expand’, he stated.
Engr. Inyang lauded the MD and staff for putting the company top of the list in the industry, not in terms of power generation but for keeping it afloat despite its limitations, especially in the aspect of funds.
The Board, he said, is constituted to assist the management team in realizing its expanding objectives.
Earlier, during a general meeting with the company management and staff, the chairman hinted that the Board will be engaging with GE adequately because it is number one in the industry. He disclosed that new technologies will be employed in driving the company forward and assured that IP Board will listen to every member of staff because they are all stakeholders in the company.
‘Your contributions are important to the success of IP and we are certain that the company will break even at some point. The mandate that we have is to go into the second phase and with the time frame available to us, we won’t succeed without your cooperation.
‘Second phase will bring the leverage for prosperity. More production will lead to pay rise and better incentives,’ said Inyang to the staff.
While hinting that the company will meet with the Paramount Ruler of Ikot Abasi, chiefs and stakeholders in the area, the board appealed to the host community to come forward with any information or reasons that has hindered the building of transmission lines in terms of compensation.
In his remarks, Engr. Meyen Etukudo, MD, described as a welcome relief, the constitution of the Board as it will use its influence to steer the company to its next level.
Making a power point presentation on the state of the company, Etukudo said the company has recorded key accomplishments. Among these are its successful registration as a recognized market participant in NESI and signing of interim sales agreement with NBET. Also, expansion license for phase two has been approved, bringing the total approved capacity to 685mw.
The Federal Ministry of Environment scored IPC one hundred percent in 2015 in compliance with safety and environment requirements.
Also, the overhead line 2 has been commissioned which enables the company to evacuate at 191mw capacity. In the last quarter of 2016, an unprecedented record was achieved when the plant ran for 194 days without failure.
On key ongoing projects, the MD listed them to include; phase one power purchase agreement with NBET which is undergoing regulatory review for approval and Hot Gas path inspection of unit 3.
He disclosed that the turn around maintenance embarked upon by Septa Energy prevented IP from generating for 114 days, stating that the major commercial challenge confronting the IPC is liquidity issue and pressed on the need to make the company become a dividend paying investment.