Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade has said his administration’s policy thrust is to ensure 24-hour power supply in most parts of the state starting with Calabar, the state capital.
The governor stated this while receiving the management team of Skipperseil of United Arab Emirate (UAE) who arrived the state to commence construction of a 100 megawatt solar farm.
The governor had recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with the Dubai-based energy firm to construct the solar farm.
Ayade identified embedded power generation as key to achieving the target, adding, “It is the only way the state government can control what it generates in order to provide the electricity needs of the big factories that are coming into the state.
“Given the challenges we have in the country with power generation on the decline, (this project) is imperative as we cannot afford to bring in big factories into the state while waiting on the national solution.
“So, with this robust project of generating an additional 100 megawatts and putting into the national grid, we have no control on how the national grid will distribute the 100 megawatts and that is why we are looking at an embedded generation system where within the shortest possible time, we will deploy a minimum of 38 megawatts to Calabar as a city. That way, we are guaranteeing a 24 hour power supply within the shortest possible time.”
Earlier, the Group President, Skipper T&D, a division of SkipperSeil group, Jitender Sachdeva, said the project is based on the MoU signed between the state and his firm during the governor’s recent visit to Dubai.
Sachdeva, who was accompanied by the joint President and CFO, SkipperSeil limited, Praveen Gupta, disclosed that an advance team from the firm had already conducted studies in Ogoja, Ikom and other areas.
He said transmission studies have been carried out, so power could be connected to the transmission network.
He disclosed that the solar farm will be “the biggest organised solar farm in Nigeria.
Sachdeva said: “Our main aim is to support His Excellency in his endeavor to light Cethe whole of Cross River State in the shortest possible time.
“All said and done, we should be providing approximately 40 megawatts in the next 365 days; 40 megawatts is a permanent solution. The temporary solution like the diesel-fired or gas-fired will be 38 megawatts which will give a standing support in the current situation where there is no power to support all the industries.”