There is optimism that by the time the 21mw power plant is commissioned, some parts of Calabar and the Ayade Industrial Park will enjoy 24-hour uninterrupted electricity supply. This was the guarantee given to TNN by Charles Parker, the consultant for the 21mw Power Plant project handled by John Paul International.
When this happens, businesses are expected to boom and it will give the needed impetus to the industrialization drive of the Prof. Ben Ayade administration.
Parker spoke confidently about the plant in a recent chat with TNN at the premises of the power plant along Parliamentary Extension in the state capital. According to him, “there are six large machines at the power plant. Three of the machines are 11,000 volts by 2,500kw. The other three machines are 6,600 volts by 2,500kw. And they have all been installed. They are diesel engines now. They can be converted to gas later. There are companies that can do the conversion. But now they will be running on diesel.”
He allayed fears about the cost of fuelling the power plant, saying the fuel consumption was not as bad as everybody thinks. “The fuel consumption of these machines is lower than most of the new equipment. There are two power plants here. One will generate 11mw of electricity and the other will generate 10mw. These give us 21 mw. When there is an issue with one plant, we switch to the other one so power will be available for 24 hours.”
Areas that will benefit from the electricity supplied from the plant are Calabar Municipality, parts of Calabar South, Industrial Park, State Housing, Federal Housing, Water Board and other areas.
“These areas mentioned will have 24 hours power supply by the time this project is commissioned. The project started September 2016. We were supposed to have concluded this project for the Carnival of 2017 but unfortunately due to some material issues, logistical issues, we were unable to complete it. It is 95 per cent completed,” Parker said.
Complementing the power that will be supplied from the power plant is the solar energy being put in place by Josef Boehm, Director of DNS (Digital New Systems). It is the company installing solar panels and lamps to electrify the Ayade Industrial Park in Calabar.
When TNN met with Boehm recently at the Industrial Park, the German was busy at work. He stopped work and showed TNN what his company was doing to light up the park. He boasted about the facilities in the mobile control room or Energy House as he called it.
“Our batteries that power the solar energy lamps are guaranteed to last 8 years. The mobile control room or Energy House for the solar energy powered system is twenty degrees. That guarantees 8 years of the lifespan of the batteries. At 40 degrees, the batteries are guaranteed to last for two years. Over 40 degrees, the batteries are guaranteed to last one year. There is air-condition inside. We generate our own electricity. Everything was brought from Germany. The energy we generate here is for the solar street light in the Industrial Park. The solar-powered street lamps are guaranteed to last for 30 years. And after the 30 years, they can last another 20 to 30 years,” he said.
He said there are two hundred solar power lamps in the Industrial Park, while in the rice seedling multiplication factory, there are fifty lamps.
“Generators cannot carry the lamps. One lamp has 1,300 watts. With the solar energy to power the lamps, the problem of electricity for the Industrial Park is solved. You save cost of buying diesel. German companies make 100% or nothing. From Germany, we can monitor all the batteries, all the lamps here to ensure everything functions properly. The plastic used for the solar panels is guaranteed to last for 40 to 60 years,” Boehm said.