The Shiroro Hydro Power Station (SHPS) will soon double its operating capacity of 300mw through solar plant.
Alhaji Dauda Abdulaziz, Chief Operating Officer, SHPS, disclosed this on Thursday in Shiroro to a team from Infrastructure Concessions Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE).
Abdulaziz said that the new solar plant would be digitally controlled instead of the conventional manual system.
“This new solar form of energy generation we are introducing will generate additional 300mw. With this progress, Nigerians will henceforth enjoy more power supply.
“It is a project that has prospect of employment for skilled young Nigerians,” he added.
Abdulaziz said that consultation on the procurement process for the solar energy project was ongoing with relevant agencies and the host community to reach agreement for commencement of work.
He told the team that each hydro power station in Nigeria was mandated to generate 3000mw per annum, adding that Shiroro had been generating 2,360mw.
Abdulaziz said that the shortfall was due to the repairs and the upgrade of facilities after the handing over of the company in November 1, 2013.
“The annual energy generation currently is 2,260mw. Installed capacity is 600mw, 4 units each that generate 150mw.
“There are four units meant to generate power, but right now we only use two to generate 300mw because the other two units are under maintenance and are not generating energy for now,” he said.
Earlier, Alhaji Aminu Diko, the ICRC Director General, had expressed optimism with the upgrade and repairs of infrastructure to enable the station to generate 3000mw.
“I am happy with what we are seeing. The new system of bringing in ICT and capital to invest for Nigerians to enjoy maximum power supply is a way forward.
“What is now mitigating the generation of sufficient energy generation is the certain repairs and operation that needs to be carried which includes bringing in extensive experts from the USA.
“The plan to have additional 300mw of power generation using solar can only be achieved through government partnership with the private sector.
“This 30 years concession is for the power station to invest money, give the desired power generation and recover their investment within the period of 25 to 30 years.
“It is after these years of investment that they will refer back to government to ascertain if there has been an improvement with sufficient manpower to run the company or not.
“The essence of public-private partnership (PPP) is that come let us partner, we will agree and disagree, but we have a strategic objective.
“If the concessionaire is no longer up to the agreement, there are clauses in the agreement that require us to take certain action of termination of agreement”, he said.
Diko called for immediate completion of the maintenance works since the two units currently working was not enough to generate the needed energy consumption.
“Having only two functional units in the whole system is a setback; it is not enough.
“There has to be an improvement. Shutting down unit every evening to allow divers to work under water is not good for the present situation the country is in.
“This overhauling has to be fixed so that it will be easy to increase capacity generation,” he said.