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Why 40MW Kashimbilla hydropower plant may raise supply

Source: 
Daily Trust

The Minister of Power, Engr. Sale Mamman, Minister of State, Mr Goddy Jedy Agba and other officials of the Federal Ministry of Power, recently inspected the 40 megawatts (MW) Kashimbilla hydropower dam in Taraba State.

Engr. Mamman, from Taraba, went back home shortly after he assumed office but this time, it was for official reasons. Daily Trust in this piece evaluates the potentials for the power plant to address poor power capacity in the North East.

The Kashimbilla Multipurpose Buffer Dam is built on the River Katsina-Ala in Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State. During the inspection of the power plant component of the dam, the project manager from the Federal Ministry of Power, Engr. Abubakar Ali Dapshima, said the dam was proposed to check the threat of flood from the structurally weak volcanic Lake Nyos on the upstream, along the Cameroon line of volcanic activity.

The dam is said to have the capacity to mitigate environmental disaster that may occur in the states of Taraba, Benue, Cross River, Kogi and Delta, affecting over six million people. The dam will also be used to provide water to 400,000 people, promote irrigation, fishing activities and create jobs, among others.

Away from the environmental impact of the dam, Engr. Dapshima said a hydropower component was designed and upgraded from 6MW to 40MW.

Briefing the ministers, he said the dam and its hydropower component was 100 percent completed since October 17, 2017. 'The dam is spilling very well and the turbines are ready to deliver 40MW to the national grid,' he stated.

Dapshima said what was left was the ongoing power evacuation project which was at 90 percent completion level as at June 2019.

The transmission project consists of 132/33 kilovolt (kV) Double Circuit line from Kashimbilla to Takum, about 65-kilometre distance; Takum to Wukari which is 75km; Wukari to Yandev, about 105km and then Wukari-Donga-Rafin Kada which is 33kV Double Circuit line.

The project also delivered switchyard component comprising 132kV/33KV substation and line bays at Kashimbilla plant. The 132/33kV Takum and Wukari substations have two units of 60MVA transformers each.

The ministry built two units of 132kV line bay extensions at Yandev and completely rehabilitated two units of 132kV line at Yandev and the rehabilitation of the Yandev Substation in Benue State.

To distribute the power from the hydropower plant to various benefiting communities, the ministry constructed two units of 7.5MVA, 33kV substations at Donga and Rafin Kada, with associated distribution network facilities and 5MVA.

The 33kV substation at Kashimbilla switchyard has a 33kV distribution network to Kashimbilla town, Bibi/Baruwa, Birma, Ibete, Lanke and Malumshe communities, among others, that have been completed.

At least 80 percent of the power need of Taraba South Senatorial District will be addressed with the 40MW Kashimbilla hydropower plant energy evacuation. It will also serve as a corridor for the evacuation of power from the proposed 3,050MW Mambilla hydropower plant through the ongoing 132kV Takum and Wukari substations.

Officials said many ongoing and completed rural electrification projects that are in various villages and towns along the Benue, Taraba belt that have not been energized or hooked to the national grid due to lack of sources of power supply could be energized with the commissioning of the Kashimbilla project.

On the plant's operation, Daily Trust gathered that once commissioned, the power station will be an Independent Power Plant (IPP) delivering energy to the national grid to ensure recovery of funds invested in its completion. The annual energy production is estimated at 236 gigawatt hours (GWhrs) which translates to about N5.7 billion yearly.

Engr. Dapshima said the Distribution Companies (DisCos) - Jos and Yola DisCos - have been informed to be ready to take up the additional load once commissioned.

Enthusiastic about the 40MW Kashimbilla power project, Engr. Sale Mamman said the purpose of the visit was to get first-hand status of all the ongoing projects in the ministry for faster delivery.

Briefing pressmen, he said: 'Let me use this opportunity to call on all contractors handling our projects to work hard to deliver them according to specifications as we are looking at all challenges in them and very soon they will be addressed.'

The minister, who further expressed satisfaction with the project, said 'we are here to inspect and see the quality of work done on the project and I can tell you that I am very impressed. I can assure you that the commissioning will be done any moment from now because the project is ready.'

Minister of State Jedy Agba, in his remarks on the project, said 'this project is ready to roll and am very impressed and happy about it. Am glad to be part of it and we hope that we will be able to work together to complete it and make it a good project for Nigerians.'

The Managing Director, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mr Usman Gur Mohammed, who was part of the inspection team said it was collaborating with the ministry to begin evacuation of power from the hydropower plant through the newly built Yandev, Takum and Wukari transmission substations that would connect to the larger 330/132kV Apir transmission substation in Makurdi, Benue State.

Upon energising the plants and the substations, the TCN boss said more electricity would be supplied to parts of Taraba, Benue and Enugu states.

The Head, Transmission Service Provider (TSP), a section of TCN, Engr. Victor Adewumi, also lauded the ministry for the quality of construction work for the Takum transmission substation when he inspected the facility.

The traditional ruler of Kashimbilla, Gar-Gadin VIII of Kashimbilla, Zakari Musa Gyendi, said he was grateful to the federal government for the project.

'I am very grateful because the project is going to bring development to us in our communities. By Mr President giving us, Taraba people the opportunity to produce a minister, I think everything about the project will get better,' he said.

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