In continuation of the drive for incremental power, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, Friday inspected the 30 Megawatts Gurara Hydropower Plant in Kaduna saying the additional power would boost efforts to stabilize power supply in the country.
Fielding questions from newsmen at the end of the inspection, Fashola, who assured that the project would be completed early next year, explained that it remained the completion of the Gurara/Kudenda Substation in Kaduna where energy would come down for distribution adding that approval had already been given for the building of the substation
The Minister, who also said the Gurara hydropower project was also a source of transporting energy, added that the place was supposed to evacuate power from that location through to Kaduna and Mando substations to Kudenda substation to connect to the Kaduna Power Plant
The Minister told the newsmen, “All the lines are already built as you can see. It remains just the substation where energy comes down in and can be redistributed that we are waiting to complete and with the approval we have now, we should finish early next year at the latest”.
“When I briefed on Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council, I spoke of the approval granted by Council for the Gurara/Kudenda Substation in Kaduna; that is what is delaying this project. The place is supposed to evacuate power from here through to Kaduna and Mando Substation to Kudenda substation to connect this to the Kaduna Power Plant”, he said.
Expressing delight that the objective of Incremental Power was being achieved, Fashola noted that with Wind Power being developed in Katsina, Gurara Hydro- power in Kaduna, the Kashimbilla Hydropower in Taraba, added to Jebba, Kainji, and Shiroro Hydropower plants, the nation’s energy mix was slowly but surely coming together.
The Minister, who said the Gurara Hydropower project was being pursued for the same purpose, told the newsmen, “The reason is that you have seen three turbines inside, each contains 10MW of power and that is 30MW. Add that to 40MW yesterday, add it to 215MW in Kaduna and so on and so forth and it brings you back to where we started this journey; Incremental Power everywhere we can get it”.
“What you must understand is that earlier in this administration, we had agitations for power from other sources beyond gas. Why is Nigeria not using hydro power, that was one of the questions I was being asked. Why are we not using solar power, why are we not using Wind power?
“But you have seen that your country is developing Wind power in Katsina, is developing hydro power here in Kaduna, the Gurara Power Plant where we are now, the Kashimbilla where we went yesterday. We have been to Jebba, we have been to Kainji, we have been to Shiroro together; so slowly the energy mix is coming together”, the Minister said.
He explained that wherever a hydroelectricity plant was producing electricity from water, there was collaboration between the Ministry of Water Resources and the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing adding that the Ministry of Water Resources takes the responsibility for Water allocation, Water Rights Issuance and essentially the Dam.
Pointing out that the Power part was to use the force of the dammed water to create energy, Fashola explained further, “In Kashimbilla where we were yesterday, the work is almost done except to impound the dam which they will do in the next few weeks when the rain slows down. The water works is already done here; that was why we were at the Lower Usman Dam Water Works to add solar power to it”.
It could be recalled that the Minister paid a similar visit to the 40MW Kashimbilla Hydropower project in Taraba State on Thursday where he assured that the Dam, when completed about 2018, would serve the purpose of protecting parts of the country from a predicted ecological disaster, provide electricity and support agricultural ventures in surrounding States of the Northeast.
Fashola also told newsmen after the inspection that the project, conceived about 2007, would generate electricity to feed communities like Doga, Wukari, Takum, Kashimbila and many other communities in the Northeast and Yandev in Benue State who are not yet connected to the Grid aside serving as intervention against a predicted ecological disaster that would affect some states in the country.
The Kashimbila Hydropower Dam Project in Taraba State, when completed will add 40 Megawatts of electricity to the National Grid.
Initially conceived as the Multipurpose Kashimbila/Gamovo Multipurpose Buffer Dam and built on the Katsina-Ala River in Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State to mitigate the effect of an envisaged environmental disaster as a result of the inevitable collapse of the structurally weak volcanic Lake Nyos, the Dam would be impounded in February next year.
The Minister was accompanied on both inspection tours by the Director, Renewable and Rural Power Access, Engineer Abayomi Adebisi and briefed on the projects by senior management team members of the companies handling both projects.