Ebonyi, UN agency to build 5MW, N1.3b power plant from Rice-Husk burning

No Comments » February 5th, 2008 posted by // Categories: Energy Development Project



 

 

THE NATION

Ebonyi,UN agency to build N1.3b power plant         5/2/2008

      

From Jeff Amechi Agbodo,
Abakaliki

A N $11.3 million (N1.3 billion) Independent Power Plant (IPP) is to be built in Ebonyi State.

The plant, is expected to generate five megawatts of electricity, using rice husks, is a joint venture between the State Government and the United Nations Development Organisation (UNIDO).

Already, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed.

Speaking at the Executive Council Chambers of the Government House

on the occasionthe UNIDO Country Representative and Head Regional Office, West Africa, Mr. Masayoshi Matsushita, said UNIDO would contribute 70 percent and the state government 30 percent to finance the project. The state would also provide the land.

He expressed happiness with the state government for her cooperation, noting that the rice husk-fired power plant, which would be sited around the rice mill would be one of the seven projects that UNIDO would embark on.

A UNIDO consultant, Mr. Arul Joe Mathias, said the project would take 24 months to complete and when functional would save the state the $2 million annually, being the amount of money that the the rice mill spend on diesel yearly.

He stated that the state would make additional revenue of $480,000 annually from the export of 9,600 tonnes of ash that would be generated from 56,000 tonnes of rice husk needed every year.

According to the UNIDO consultant, the plant would engage 31 permanent employees after completion and 60 casual workers during the construction.

He added that the power generated from the plant would benefit the rice millers, farmers, investors, residents and other industries located in the area.

Governor Martin Elechi said he was pleased with the effort of the UNIDO team and other development partners, including Austria in bringing about positive development stressing that he would not hesitate in committing the resources of the state in the venture, which he hoped, would not only improve the environment but the quality of rice.

“We are keen on fast industrialisation of the state but key infrastructure will have to be put in place before any headway could be made… Five megawatt plant may not be enough but it is a good start,” he said.

Earlier the Commissioner for Public Utilities, Mr. Celestine Nwali disclosed that the sum of N10 million as part of 2008 counterpart fund contribution of the state government.

Chairman of the state Economic Recovery Committee, Mr. Dave Nwachukwu stated that the waste-to-wealth initiative of UNIDO would boost agro processing and raise the economic empowerment of farmers in the state, assuring that funds and resources made available by development partners would be judiciously utilized.

 

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