Gov. Emmanuel Pushes Harder for Industrial Growth 

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– Govt. Targets 480mw for IPP
– As IP Board Hosts GE For Fast Power Project. 

The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has made another significant move to consolidate on his industrialization vision for the state with the targeting of between 360mw to 480mw increased production capacity for Ibom Power Plant. The governor’s direction was made known yesterday during a high profile meeting between Ibom Power Board and top management staff of General Electric (GE) in Uyo. The team was led by Mrs. Joyce Shygle-Wigwe, an Executive Director in the company while the way forward for the actualization of the Fast Power Project was top on the agenda. Making clear the governor’s desire for a quick and satisfactory result, the Board Chairman, Engr. Etido Inyang said the state government is doing all that is needed in order to fully utilize the IPP license before its expiration date next year. He tasked General Electric to be ready to run at the working speed of Governor Emmanuel whom he described as a man in a hurry to achieve his dreams for the state. The success of the IPP, he stated, is crucial to the realization of this dream.

Giving a brief insight on the Fast Power concept, Goodluck Erimakpokpo, GE Head of Power Lead traced its debut in Nigeria to April 2016 when the Chairman and CEO of General Electric met with President Muhammadu Buhari, pledging to support Nigeria’s power growth. 

‘At that meeting, we told the president that in five to six months, if certain conditions were met, we will attain 600mw of power which is quite enormous. Today, we have a team of GE and Federal Ministry of Power driving the Fast Power Initiative in Nigeria. And Ibom Power has emerged as one of the top sites’.

On employment prospect of the fast power project when successful, he estimated that over one thousand direct and indirect employment will be sourced even though it is a grid power. Economic activities will spring up, businesses will flourish and the local communities will come alive, he added. 

‘IPP will be even more transformational that Afam plant because we are looking at 240mw to 360mw depending on the capacity we can get. It is going to get to around 12 units of our Trailer Mountain Machines and that is close to about 360mw’.

Erimakpokpo said the fundamentals needed to drive power are present in Ibom Power. He listed them to include space, evacuation and gas. 

Also, government has started a new project and it’s almost ninety percent completed. That’s the one coming from Ikot Abasi. It is also a double circuit 132kva and absolutely suitable for this project. It is projected to be completed in July so we will leverage on that transmission line to evacuate. A little work on the switch yard to basically fortify it, he added. Regarding the deals structure, Erimakpokpo said it could be worked out as a template already exist.

To corroborate the points espoused by his colleague, Vincent Ozoude, Senior Sales Manager of GE, said IPP is a good option as it does not have much competition with gas. He described the gas network as amazing with an ongoing switch yard that gives the IPP the capacity to expand beyond its limits. 

‘Fast Power is a project that this administration can participate in very well and be part of the commissioning within the next 12months or less if everything goes on as envisaged. Cottage Industries will benefit from it, many industries will want to come around for their factories. The Export Promotion Council in Calabar can be co-opted to attract in investors’.

The chairman said Governor Udom Emmanuel is very passionate about achieving  the next stage for the IPP and wants it achieved in the shortest possible time. 

Responding to the 480mw target, the GE team said there are no limitations from the standpoint of technology. But however added that two other areas will have to be checked. The first is the capacity of the gas pipeline and the molecule itself and the second is the confirmation of transmission rating. 

The leader of the GE team and Executive Director, Joyce Shygle-Wigwe while addressing the Board outlined the critical relevance of Ibom Power to infrastructure in Nigeria. 

‘We can’t talk about bringing in gas pipe infrastructure to Nigeria without talking about Ibom Power. With a team like yours, we decided to come and talk with you, listen to you and look at ways we can work together to provide power for Akwa Ibom people and Nigeria at large. 

‘We are ready to work with you as a team to be able to achieve a common goal. I believe this Board is focusing on the governor’s primary concern which is industrial growth and this project is key to achieving that. We will always discuss the past, present and the future as we agree on the way forward’. 

Mrs. Shygle-Wigwe also commended the chairman and members of the Board for their ‘deep level of Knowledge and understanding of a technical issue such as power’. 

In the General Electric team were Joyce Shygle-Wigwe, Executive Director; Vincent Ozoude, Senior Sales Manager; Goodluck Erimakpokpo, Head Power Lead and Willie Okpoyo, Senior Commercial Manager. 

For the Board were the chairman, Engr. Etido Inyang, Elder Ntieyong Inyangmme, Hon. Emmanuel Ebe, Barr. Uwem Ekanem and Hon. Ayang Ayang, as well as the company secretary, Barr. Ime Asibong. 

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