FG Reviews 1,350mw Project’s EIA Panel

The Federal Government has commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on its proposed 1350megawatt (Mw) power project.

According to the Ag, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Samson Makoji who disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday, the Minister of Environment, Mr. Muhammad Mahmud made the commendation during the review of the panel on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the proposed Abuja Independent Power Plant project which is aimed at boosting electricity supply in parts of the nation.

The Minister, who was represented at the panel review meeting in Abuja, by Celestine Gomwalk, noted that the project was critical to the Federal Government because of its numerous potentials to improve the power situation in parts of the country.

He therefore, assured of his Ministry’s support towards the actualisation of the project.

“Let me use this opportunity to commend the management of Gas and Power Investment Company and by extension, the NNPC for this wonderful initiative. Certainly, this project is one of the critical infrastructures that the Federal Government is making judicious efforts to embrace,” the minister said.

Mahmud further assured that the Ministry, through the newly constituted EIA Panel, would ensure that only decisions mutually beneficial to all stakeholders would be considered adding that the essence of the exercise was to ensure sustainability of the power project.

In his presentation, the Abuja Independent Power Plant Project Manager, Benjamin Adah, noted that part of the objectives of the project was to diversify and monetise NNPC gas revenue stream through power generation.

He said the project was an initiative that would assist in reducing the current gas flare in the country.

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Other benefits of the project according to the project manager include boosting the nation’s revenue base and generating employment opportunities for the youth.

He also posited that besides generating 1350MW into the national grid, the project would help to decongest the over-voltage on transmission network coming from closely located power generating companies in the gas producing areas.

He disclosed that the project which would be cited on a 54.7 hectares of land in the Gwagwalada area of the Federal Capital Territory would be co-financed by the NNPC and its strategic partner, GE/CMEC, with a combination of debt-equity sharing ratio of 70per cent:30 per cent.

In his own comments, Mr. David Abang of the Research and Development Division of NNPC, the Project Consultant, noted that a lot of research and effort had been put into developing the EIA of the project, pointing out that a lot of similar projects had failed for lack of proper EIA.

He said the host community, Dukpa in Gwagwalada Area Council of Abuja was carried along in the course of conducting the EIA.

Earlier in his remarks, the Chief of Dukpa, Yinusa Gwamna, said commended the NNPC on how it has carried the community along so far in the course of developing the project, expressing the hope that relationship would be sustained.

Chairman of the EIA Panel, Prof. Sabo Ibrahim, said the project could not have come at a better time than now, stressing that the review meeting was to identify and assess associated and potential impacts of the project on the environment.

Present at the exercise were Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), and researchers from University of Abuja, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and Nnamdi Azikiwe University.

The highpoint of the event was a visit of members of the panel to the proposed project site for on-the-spot assessment of the environment.