Business and Economy

The 141 MW Aba Integrated Power Project (Aba IPP) comes alive

The Aba Integrated Power Project (Aba IPP), with a capacity of 141 MW, has been officially commissioned in Abia State by Vice President Kashim Shettima of Nigeria. This project, financed by Afreximbank, is the first of its kind in Nigeria and has the capability to generate and distribute power across nine local government areas within the Aba ring-fenced zone.

The distribution of energy plays a crucial role in national development, facilitating industrialization and trade. Afreximbank recognizes the challenges in the energy sector, such as liquidity issues, high levels of debt, and lack of profitability. To address these challenges, the bank has been supporting energy projects in Africa and has committed over US$4.6 billion to the power sector since its inception. In Nigeria alone, Afreximbank has provided approximately USD 900 million in funding, making it one of the leading financiers in the Nigerian power sector. In 2021, the bank signed a US$50 million term loan facility with Geometric Power Limited to support the completion of the project’s infrastructure, including the gas supply pipeline, and the commencement of operations.

During the official launch ceremony, Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, expressed pride in being part of this significant achievement in Nigeria. He emphasized the importance of collaboration between the public and private sectors in driving impactful projects like the Aba IPP, which have the potential to catalyze trade and economic development not only in Nigeria but also across the region.

The Aba IPP stands out from other electricity companies in Nigeria due to its unique fully vertically integrated model, which includes embedded generation and distribution capabilities. This allows the Aba IPP to directly supply power to its immediate community, prioritizing local needs and distributing surplus power to Nigeria’s national power grid. By adopting this innovative approach, the Aba IPP ensures a consistent power supply within its designated area and addresses the challenges associated with the national power grid. Additionally, this integrated structure promotes value creation by improving cost management at every stage of the energy value chain, including generation, distribution, and collection.

The Aba IPP boasts world-class infrastructure, including three GE LM6000 Gas turbines, each with a capacity to produce up to 47MW. To ensure a consistent fuel supply, the power plant is equipped with a 27km gas pipeline. The distribution network has also been upgraded, with three rehabilitated substations, five new additional substations, and 140km of 33kV/11kV lines that utilize fiber optic cables for seamless data communication.

Strategically located in the industrial South-Eastern Nigeria, the Aba metropolis is a highly commercial area in West Africa, known for its cottage and small-scale industries specializing in leather goods, fabrics, and related services. In addition to providing increased power supply and reliability, the Aba IPP is expected to contribute to industrialization efforts and boost the production of small and medium-scale enterprises, as well as local industries.

Based on Geometric power estimates, more than 370,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities are projected to emerge throughout the project’s operational phase. Moreover, there are substantial secondary advantages for the auxiliary sectors such as the enhancement of road infrastructure, betterment of local amenities like improved water provision, schools, and healthcare services, an increase in agricultural output owing to a more stable power source, as well as heightened backing for rural electrification initiatives and improved prospects for tourism and recreational activities.

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