Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has commenced the construction of a 50-megawatt gas turbine power plant, the Maiduguri Emergency Power Project (MEPP), expected to generate electricity to the capital city and its environs.
The national oil company had announced a plan for the gas-powered plant in April as a long-term solution to the incessant attacks and destruction of power lines by the Boko Haram insurgents, who had frustrated attempts to restore power to the beleaguered city.
It was learnt that China Machinery Engineering Company (CMEC) and General Electric (GE) would handle the project meant to ensure supply to the state which had been cut off since January this year following the insurgents’ attacks on lines along the Maiduguri-Damaturu road at least on two occasions. In August 2021, the NNPC signed an official contract with the CMEC and GE on the project. The ground-breaking ceremony signifies the official commencement of the project as the contractors have since moved to site.
In his remarks at the ceremony to flag off the project, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, explained that the move was a result of a presidential directive to provide emergency intervention to the electricity supply to the area.
Kyari therefore assured the people of Maiduguri that the project will be delivered on schedule, adding that it would further improve NNPC’s gas utilisation efforts for the socio-economic benefit of Nigerians. “NNPC as an enabler organisation is committed to the delivery of this project within schedule, and has already awarded the contract to General Electric Global (GE) for the supply of gas turbine, while Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) has been contracted to China Machinery and Engineering Corporation (CMEC),” Kyari stated, noting that the project would be a model for other cities across the country.
Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, in his comments, described the ground-breaking ceremony of the project as the happiest day of his life and a huge relief to the people of Maiduguri, who have been without power supply for nine months.
According to the governor, NNPC’s commercial investments in the 50mw combined gas power plant will ultimately increase energy supply level to Maiduguri and environs, thereby impacting the state’s economy positively, when completed.
He said the Borno state government will do everything possible to ensure that maximum security of lives and property are guaranteed for the project implementation team and residents of the state. “I assure you that as a government, we will provide the much-needed security to ensure that this high pressure-scheduled project is completed on cost, scope and quality,” Zulum added.