According to a statement by the company’s management, the 181 megawatt Geometric Power plant in the Osisioma Industrial Layout of Aba in Abia State will now be commissioned on Monday, February 26, 2024.
President Bola Tinubu was supposed to inaugurate the factory on Saturday, February 24.
The President in Abuja selected the new date in response to what insiders called unforeseen events.
Together with Aba Power Ltd., the president will officially open the 188 MW thermal plant. Nine of Abia State’s seventeen local government districts will receive power from the new facility.
Engineer Cliff Eneh, an energy consultant in Lagos and former senior manager of the defunct National Electric Power of Nigeria (NEPA) who previously worked as a senior engineer with Texa Power and Light Corporation in the United States, responded to the decision to push back the much-anticipated commissioning to Monday by saying this morning: “A 48-hour difference is not significant.”
“We are pleased with the backing the Federal government has recently shown the Geometric Power Integrated Company, the only organisation in Nigeria that will produce and distribute its own electricity; other power companies only produce or distribute, not both.”
Geometric Power, which has invested over 800 million dollars in its integrated power project—dubbed the largest investment in the Southeast—has constructed a 27-kilometer natural gas pipeline that runs from Owaza in Ukwa West LGA, Abia State, to the Osisioma Industrial Layout in Aba.
“We’ve also installed 150,000 kilometres of cables and wires, built four new power substations, and renovated three others that were inherited from the former Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN)”, said Ben Caven, a former Executive Director of NEPA who was renowned for overseeing the Transmission, Generation, and Engineering Divisions of the state-owned power company at the same time.
Caven is now Geometric Power Ltd.’s managing director.
The tibular poles installed by Geometric Power in Aba and the surrounding areas are “incomparable in Africa,” according to Patrick Umeh, a former executive with Los Angeles Water and Light in the United States who later served as Commissioner in charge of Markets, Market Rates, and Competition at the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
“You can only find facilities this size and quality in places like Tokyo and San Francisco, both in California.
“As we can all see, the tubular poles here are around 10 metres deep, despite their extreme height.
Stated differently, Aba Power and the Geometric Group will continue to be able to provide electricity to their countless clients even in the rare case of a natural calamity such as the earthquake in Aba or the surrounding areas.
Professor Bart Nnaji, a highly regarded American academic engineer who served as Nigeria’s Minister of Science and Technology and then as Minister of Power, formed the Geometric Power Group.
After World Bank President James Wolfensohn and Nigeria’s Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala visited Aba on March 17, 2004, Nnaji began the integrated project. During their visit, Nnaji learned that the main issue facing large- and medium-sized industrialists in Aba—which is known as the hub of indigenous manufacturing in Nigeria—is the lack of a reliable power supply.
Following the 22MW Abuja Emergency Power Plant, which he led a team of Nigerian engineers to build in Abuja from 2000 to 2001 and which provided uninterrupted power to vital locations like the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Company, the Central Bank headquarters, the Aso Rock, and the entire Central Business District of Abuja, both Wolfensohn and Okonjo-Iweala appealed to Nnaji for assistance with a power plant dedicated to Aba.
Chief Alphonsus Udeigbo, the president general of the 22,000-member Aba Landlords Protection and Development Association (ALPANDA), observed that “electricity was rarely available in Aba, and when it was, it was so poor that it couldn’t power your household appliances, let alone industrial machines.”
The President of the Association of Aba Industrialists, Sir Alexander Maduakor, stated that the opening of the Geometric Power on Monday “will mark a new dawn in the country, not just in Aba or Abia State.”