There is already a rush for the 10 National Independent Power Plants to be privatized by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) as over 200 investors have expressed interest in purchasing the power stations.
This was disclosed during the NIPP Privatization Roadshow in Lagos on Tuesday by the Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswam who also disclosed that the 10 gas-fired plants with a combined design capacity in excess of 5,453 megawatts were 53 per cent owned by the states and local governments, while the Federal Government owned the remaining 47 per cent.
Suswam, who is also a member of the Board of Directors of the NDPHC assured of a transparent privatization process, saying, “Over 200 entrepreneurs have expressed their interests. The roadshow is just to show the potential investors that we are serious. We are starting from Lagos, and then London, United States and Hong Kong.
“We want to encourage the private sector and banks in Nigeria that this is the way they should go.”
The governor encouraged investors at the roadshow to take advantage of the EoI window before it closes on the 19th of July, 2013.
The power plants slated for privatization are: Omotoso with a generation capacity of 450MW; Sapele, 450MW; Geregu, 434MW; Olorunsogo, 750MW; Ihovbor, 450MW; Gbarain, 225MW; Alaoji, 450MW; Calabar, 561MW; Egbema, 338MW and Omoku, 225MW.
The Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo said that when fully operational, the plants would double the country’s electricity generation capacity.
He said, “The power sector will thrive in the hands of the private sector and drive the Nigerian economy. We will give maximum support to investors to take over the sector.
“The entire process of privatization of the power sector is irreversible and what happened in the telecoms sector is about to repeat itself in the power sector. We expect that the achievement in the power sector will dwarf the telecoms sector. We expect this to revive our economy and our SMEs, which are currently moribund.”
The Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Power, Mr Dagogo Jack, also spoke in the same vein, promising that the government would provide incentives for power investors to serve as encouragement to them.
“This project is consistent with government’s policy to push the plants to the private sector, which can manage it better. Government will create incentives for investors in the power sector,” he said.
Another board member of the NDPHC, Delta State governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, advised the potential investors gathered at the roadshow to immediately contact the governors of the states where the plants they are interested in are located and develop a security master plan.
He also assured investors that despite the fact that most of the power plants were in the Niger Delta, the area was now safe for investment.