HomeFeaturesFeb 26: Aba Set For 24-Hour Power With Geometric Power 

Feb 26: Aba Set For 24-Hour Power With Geometric Power 

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Abia State’s energy sector braces for a game-changing event with the imminent commissioning of the 181-megawatt Geometric Power plant in Aba’s bustling Osisioma Industrial Layout, slated for Monday, February 26, 2024, according to an official statement from the company’s management.

Initially slated for unveiling on Saturday, February 24, by President Bola Tinubu, the plant’s inauguration has been rescheduled, with the new date set for Monday, February 26.

Insider sources shed light on the decision-making process within The Presidency in Abuja, attributing the selection of the new date to unexpected developments that arose.

The president is set to officiate the commissioning of the 188-MW thermal plant, in partnership with Aba Power Ltd, facilitating electricity distribution to nine out of Abia State’s 17 local government areas.

In light of the decision to push back the long-awaited commissioning to Monday, Engineer Cliff Eneh, an energy consultant based in Lagos who previously held senior roles at both the defunct National Electric Power of Nigeria (NEPA) and Texa Power and Light Corporation in the United States, commented this morning: “A delay of 48 hours isn’t particularly significant.”

‘We are proud of the support the Federal Governemnt has of late been giving to the Geometric Power integrated company, the only group in Nigeria that will generate and distribute its own power; other power firms either generate or distribute but do not get involved in both’.

Termed as the most substantial venture in the Southeast region, Geometric Power has allocated approximately $800 million towards its comprehensive power initiative.

This endeavor encompasses the construction of a 27-kilometer natural gas pipeline, stretching from Owaza in Ukwa West Local Government Area in Abia State to the Osisioma Industrial Layout in Aba.

‘We have, in addition, installed 150,000 kilometres of cables and wires and installed four new power substations as well as refurbished three others inherited from the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN),’ explained Ben Caven, a former NEPA Executive Director famous for leading Transmission, Generation and Engineering Divisions simulatenously in the former state-owned power utility.

The Managing Director position at Geometric Power Ltd. is now held by Caven.

Formerly an executive at the Los Angeles Water and Light in the United States and subsequently serving as Commissioner in charge of Markets, Market Rates, and Competition at the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Patrick Umeh commended the tubular poles installed by Geometric Power in Aba and its environs as “unrivaled in Africa.”

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‘Only in cities like Tokyo and San Francisco in California you have facilities of this quality and sizes.’

‘Much as they are very tall, as all of us can see, the tubular poles here are actually about 10 meters deep.’

‘In other words, in the unlikely event of a natural disaster like earthquake in Aba or the environs, Aba Power and the Geometric Group will still be able to supply electricity to its numerous customers.’

The Geometric Power Group was founded by Professor Bart Nnaji, a renowned academic engineer based in the United States. Professor Nnaji has held positions as Nigeria’s Minister of Science and Technology and later as Minister of Power.

Inspired by a visit to Aba by then World Bank President James Wolfensohn and Nigeria’s Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on March 17, 2004, Nnaji embarked on the integrated project.

During the visit, they uncovered the major challenge facing both large-scale and medium-scale industrialists in Aba, recognized as the focal point of indigenous manufacturing in Nigeria, which is the erratic power supply.

Upon their visit, both Wolfensohn and Okonjo-Iweala appealed to Nnaji for assistance in setting up a power plant exclusively for Aba. This appeal was driven by the success of the 22MW Abuja Emergency Power Plant, which Nnaji had overseen a team of Nigerian engineers to construct from 2000 to 2001.

The Abuja plant provided continuous power supply to critical establishments such as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Company, the Central Bank headquarters, Aso Rock, and the entire Central Business District of Abuja.

‘Electricity was rarely available in Aba”, noted Chief Alphonsus Udeigbo, President General of the 22,000-member Aba Landlords Protection and Development Association (ALPANDA), “and when it was available it was so poor that it couldn’t power your household appliances, let alone industrial machines”.

According to Sir Alexander Maduakor, President of the Association of Aba Industrialists, the inauguration of Geometric Power next Monday “will herald a new era for the country, impacting not only Aba or Abia State.”

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