Power: 125 containers trapped at Onne

No Comments » March 26th, 2008 posted by // Categories: Energy Development Project

Power: 125 containers trapped at Onne
By Clara Nwachukwu
Published: Monday, 24 Mar 2008

At least 125 containers valued at over $34m (N3.9bn) meant for some of the projects under the Federal Government’s National Integrated Power Plant programme have been trapped in Onne, Rivers State since 2006.

The containers cannot be cleared due to bureaucratic delays between the Power Holding Company of Nigeria and the Central Bank of Nigeria, regarding the opening of Letters of Credit to fund the shipments.

The demurrage on the equipment is now in excess of 1.1m euros and still climbing, due to documentation problems, and none of the respective agencies of government, including the Ministry of Energy (Power) and the Power Holding Company of Nigeria has visited the Port, to ascertain the state of things.

In addition, there are a numbers of gas turbines worth $45m each and generators, also trapped for the same length of time at the same port, due to the refusal of the Ministry of Transport to give approval for an alternative route to transport the equipment to their various locations in the Niger Delta.

The accessories, turbines and generators are meant for various independent power projects in Rivers, Bayelsa, Abia and Imo states.

A visit to Onne on Friday revealed a yard filled with containers and the turbines, some with LoC No: CBN/DCO/2492/0656 and Form M No: MF 20060000108, which cannot be moved out of the port.

Incidentally, the two-year warranty for the equipment would soon expire long before their installation to test their efficacies at the various IPPs.

Speaking with journalists on Friday in Port Harcourt on issues surrounding the execution of contracts under the NIPP, the Managing Director of Rockson Engineering Company Limited, contractors for seven of the IPPs, Mr. Joseph Arumemi-Johnson, stated that contrary to popular belief, the Federal Government was yet to pay them fully for jobs already done.

According to him, “We are being owed over N12bn for jobs already executed on the IPPs. Under the terms of the contracts, LoCs are raised only on delivery of the projects according to the stages of performance.”

In spite of the huge debts, he said, “All the materials for the various IPPs have been procured and we are still within the contracts period because their delivery dates starts from May 2009.”

Although the total contract sum for the seven IPPs being handled by Rockson are valued at over $1.27bn, however, some of these contracts do not yet have effective dates, or LoCs raised for them.

For instance, there are no LoCs for Alaoji Phase 2 conversion to combined cycle plant valued at $357m and the Alaoji Change Orders to relocate site both in Addendum 2 valued at $123.3m, both signed in May 2009.

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