[From BONIFACE OKORO, Umuahia]
Geometric Power Plant would begin operations in six months time, Chairman of the company, Prof. Barth Nnaji, has disclosed.
Nnaji, while receiving Governor Okezie Ikpeazu at the Geometric Power plant at Osisioma Industrial Layout, said the power plant would be inaugurated in the next six months to commence supply of power to Aba and environs.
The litigation which has lasted for nine years, stalled the take-off of the over $500 million Geometric Power plant. Though the issue was resolved in 2016, the asset was recently handed over to Geometric by the National Council on Privatisation through the Bureau of Public Enterprises in Abuja.
Following the handover of the Aba ring-fenced area, which has been the subject of litigation between Geometric and Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), Ikpeazu paid a working visit to the company.
The Governor was received on arrival by Chairman/CEO of Geometric Power Ltd, Professor Barth Nnaji and his wife.
Before taking the Governor on a tour of the plant with its mega facilities, Professor Nnaji thanked Governor Ikpeazu for his consistent support which led to the revival of the project.
He recounted how the Governor stood by the company and traveled with him to meet with different international institutional investors, providing the requisite support from the host state government.
According to Professor Nnaji, the project wouldn’t have seen the light of day without the support of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, as he reaffirmed that Abia State Government holds five per cent equity in the Project.
The former Minister of Power told the Governor that currently the entire Aba gets a maximum of 50 megawatts of power from the National Grid.
But he explained that Geometric plant has a capacity to generate 140 megawatts of electricity which was more than enough to provide steady and sustainable power to Aba and its environs.
He told the Governor that basically, all required support infrastructure was in place, including a-17km pipeline that would convey gas from Owaza in Ukwa West Local Government Area to the plant, adding that six months from now, “the plant will be commissioned for supply of power to the people of Abia State.”
Professor Nnaji stated that long before the contractual problem that led to the stalling of the project, the sum of $500 million had already been invested in the project.
According to him, the huge portfolio investment makes Geometric the largest economic project in the entire South East of Nigeria.
He also told the Governor that the company was working towards building an estate for their workers within the industrial layout.
The Governor was later taken round the massive power plant on inspection by Professor Nnaji.
After inspecting facilities at the Geometric Power Project located at the Osisioma Industrial Layout, Ikpeazu described the Geometric Power Project as the “fulcrum upon which the industrial development of Aba, Abia and the South East will revolve.”
According to the Governor, “two years from today, the story of economic development in Aba and Abia State will take a completely different turn. Things will never be the same again around here and anyone who hasn’t concluded plans to have presence here is already late.”
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu assured Professor Nnaji that the State government would promptly construct the road leading into the plant.