Nigerian diversified investment group Transcorp, owners of Ughelli Power plant, has signed an agreement with General Electric (GE), it’s technical partner, to expand generation capacity by 1000MW over the next 3 to 5 years.

Both parties have also signed a separate agreement to rehabilitate the damaged GT 15 turbine at the Ughelli plant, which will add 115MW to the plant’s output.

Currently, Ughelli power plant generates 360MW of electricity, up from 160MW in November, when Transcorp took ownership of the plant. With the additional 115MW, and other rehabilitation works planned, output at the plant is billed to increase to 700MW by December 2014.

The Ughelli power plant is Nigeria’s largest gas-fired electricity generation asset. Purchased by Transcorp during the 2013 power privatisation programme, the $300 million plant is part of the $2.5 billion power sector-focused investment pledge made by the Tony Elumelu, Chairman of Transcorp and Heirs Holdings, a pan-African proprietary investment company.

“We are very pleased to work with GE, a proven world leader in power technology development, on the Ughelli plant expansion project,” said Elumelu.

“In a very short period of time, we have achieved significant impact – power production has more than doubled, and with this agreement, we will see increased output before the end of this year,” he added.

Perennial challenges in the Nigeria’s power sector paved the way for an ambitious privatization program by the current administration, which saw the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) into 18 successor companies: six generation companies and 11 distribution companies covering all 36 states, and a national power transmission company.

Although this was met with mixed reactions, majority are optimistic that the privatisation of the power sector will solve incessant blackouts in Nigeria.

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