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Construction of 450MW power plant takes off in June 30

By The Citizen
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The construction of the 450-megawatt Azura-Edo Independent Power Plant will commence on June 30, 2014, the Co-founder and Joint Managing Director, Azura Power Holdings, Dr. David Ladipo, has said.

Ladipo, who disclosed this after signing some agreements with partners and financiers in Abuja, stated that all was set for the take-off of the project.

'Our target is to start construction this summer. So, we have a target to proceed on actual construction on June 3o. However, we may have a list of condition precedents to be satisfied before then,' he said.

Ladipo said the firm had signed the key industrial contracts and confirmed the debt financing of its flagship power plant to be constructed in Edo State.

He noted that the plant, a $750m transaction, was the first of a new wave of project-financed Greenfield Independent Power Projects.

'The financing of the Azura-Edo IPP involves $220m of equity and $530m of debt from a consortium of local and international financiers,' he added.

The event also showcased the $300m investment being made by Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc in new gas processing facilities at its Oben Gas Plant, which, as part of Seplat's joint venture with the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, will supply the Azura-Edo IPP with fuel gas requirements.

'In total, the investments by Azura and Seplat constitute over $1bn of local and international financing into the Nigerian gas and power sector,' Ladipo said.

Earlier at the conference, Azura signed various agreements with its commercial and government counterparts, lead debt arrangers and regulators.

Some of the other organisations at the agreement signing were Siemens Nigeria Limited, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission and the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc.

The Chief Executive Officer of Seplat, Mr. Austin Avuru, said, 'The domestic gas space is a huge opportunity for Seplat. The privatisation of the domestic power industry, coupled with a massive government initiative to promote the use of natural gas, has driven investment in gas infrastructure development and power generation.''

The Federal Government's Gas Master Plan is designed to utilise the country's enormous gas reserves to boost industrialisation and electrification.

A gas industrial zone including a fertiliser plant and a petrochemical facility are being built in the West.

Following these positive developments, Avuru said a 'fifteen-year gas supply contract for power plants will underpin the expansion of Seplat's domestic gas business. This will also promote the company's organic growth, which is to continue to apply the best technology and human capital that Seplat has to drive production and reserves growth in current assets and vigorous growth of our gas domestication business.'