The NNPC, Nigeria’s sole petroleum corporation is set to officially commence the construction of a 50 mega watt gas turbine power plant that is expected to generate electricity to the city of Maiduguri and environs today, Thursday, September 30, officials said.
The power plant is named Maiduguri Emergency Power Project (MEPP).
The plant which is to be powers by gas was earlier approved by the federal government as an intervention strategy in tackling the perpetual power outage in Maiduguri, the state capital.
In April this year, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, had during an official visit to the Borno state government house, announced a plan by Abuja to establish an emergency power plant as a long time solution to the incessant attacks and destruction on power lines by the Boko Haram insurgents.
The NNPC had on Wednesday, August 18, 2021 signed a contract with China Machinery Engineering Company, CMEC, and General Electric, GE, to provide 50 Mega Watts of electricity to Maiduguri, Borno State.
Boko Haram had in January launched an attack on Maiduguri’s main high tension Towers that cut off supply of electricity to the state capital. The insurgents had since sustained such attacks to frustrate all efforts in preparing the destroyed power lines.
Mr Kyari had in April 2021 led a management team of the corporation to Borno where he told the government that everything was set for the gas turbine, that would be completed in four months.
By Mr Mele’s announced estimation, the project should have been completed by August this year.
Almost five months after the promises of Mr Mele, a groundbreaking ceremony for ambitious power plant would only commence today.
A scheduled programme of event seen by a reporter of The Humanitarian Times, the official groundbreaking and foundation laying ceremony would take place at the approved site within the township of Maiduguri.
Already, all the management of the NNPC led by Mr Mele, who is also from Borno has arrived at the state capital ahead of tomorrow’s event.
A turbine is a device that suppresses the kinetic energy of some fluid – such as water, steam, air, or combustion gases – and turns them into the rotational motion of the device itself.
Turbines are generally used in electrical generation, engines, and propulsion systems and are classified as a type of engine.
When completed, the Maiduguri gas plant will be powered by a steady supply of gasoline from the NNPC. The high-tech facility would also require the full service of experts that would supervise and maintain the running of the plant for many years.
Experts on turbine generated electricity said it is efficient and durable which comes with stringent carbon emission regulations, volatility in fuel costs, as well as an emphasis on high performance at low costs of running. Gas turbines have emerged as the most viable option. Not only are they cheap, but gas turbines are also durable and efficient with less operational failure and downtime.
However the main disadvantage of gas is that they are expensive to set up. Because they spin at such high speeds and because of the high operating temperatures, designing and manufacturing gas turbines is a tough problem from both the engineering and materials standpoint.
And the big task for running the plant is that it requires constant supply of gasoline to function normally. But Maiduguri is not connected with any gas plant which means it has to be conveyed by trucks from Kaduna.