The third of the three Geometric Power Company’s thermal turbines sent to Houston, Texas, in the United States for periodic retrofitting is back in the country, preparatory to the commissioning of the 141-megawatt Aba Power Project later in the year.
Two of the three turbines sent out in December, 2019, to Texas for a comprehensive check at the plant of General Electric (GE), the world’s biggest electricity equipment manufacturing group in the world, have already been reinstalled at the Geometric Power Plant at Osisioma Industrial Layout in Aba, Abia State, while the third is on its way to the plant.
Each of the three natural gas-fired turbines generates 47 megawatts, bringing the total capacity of electricity which can be generated at the Aba Power Project to 141MW, though the plant is licensed to produce 181MW.
“If the demand for electricity grows beyond the current installed capacity of 141MW”, explained Engineer Ben Caven, managing director of Geometric Power Aba Limited (GPAL), in an email to the media, “we will just acquire one more 47MW turbine which will bring our generation to 181MW”.
Though the three GE turbines have not been used to generate electricity since they were installed the first time in 2012 following a dispute with the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) which has now been resolved, Geometric Power found it necessary to return them to the manufacturer for review “because it is in consonance with the best international engineering practice”, said Caven, a former Executive Director of the defunct National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) who was at various times in charge of the Engineering, Transmission and Generation divisions of the state utility.
Engr Caven disclosed that Geometric Power “is lucky to have sent out our three turbines when it did in December, 2019, otherwise the retrofitting would have been delayed for long on account of Covid-19 which the World Health Organization declared a pandemic in March, 2020.”
Like the two turbines already installed, the third turbine will be installed by KS Energy, an American company based in Turkey run by erstwhile GE executives.
“KS will complete, commission, operate and maintain the turbines”, declared the Geometric Power chairman, Professor Bart Nnaji, a former Minister of Power and a globally recognized engineering authority.
Professor Nnaji, who also disclosed that KS is investing in the Aba Integrated Power Project owned by Geometric Power group, revealed that the new over 100 kilometres of 33KV power lines and .over 40 KMs of 11KVA power lines in Aba built by Geometric Power were installed by Asea Brown Boveri (ABB), one of the two greatest electricity companies in the world.
“We have made conscious efforts to ensure that our service is world-class in every sense”, he stated.
“Rather than concrete electric poles, which are sometimes pulled down by strong winds in Nigeria, we have installed gigantic tubular poles, made from steel, and with 10 metres of each buried in the ground.
“This means that the nine LGAs we will be supplying power will continue to have uninterrupted supply even in the unlikely event of a natural disaster”.
Cliff Eneh, a former engineer with Texas Power and Light who was to serve as a Senior Manager with the defunct Power Holding Company (PHCN) in Lagos, said that “many cities in the United States do not have power facilities as sophisticated as what Geometric has built in Aba.
“Geometric Power is truly a model electricity firm,” he stressed.