Nigeria’s first project-financed independent power plant – the 459 megawatts (MW) capacity Azura-Edo power plant Wednesday started generating electricity to the national grid, following the successful completion of the first-fire on one of its generation turbines – the 153MW GT-11, and subsequent synchronisation of same to the national grid by the Transmission Company of Nigerian (TCN).

Coming seven months ahead of its scheduled date of inauguration the testing and synchronization of the second and third turbines of the gas-powered generation plant would reportedly be completed between January and March 2018, at which time the plant would have reached its commercial operations.

“Earlier today (yesterday), Azura Power’s first turbine was synchronized to the national grid and began producing electricity for distribution across the country. This is a red-letter day for the country’s first large-scale, project-financed, independent power plant, and a testament to the work of the many government agencies that have helped to bring this project to life,” Azura, in a note shared with THISDAY in Abuja, said.

The company explained that: “Today’s event marks the start of a four-month period of intensive commissioning of the 459MW Azura-Edo IPP located in Benin City, Edo State. The plant is comprised of three Siemens turbines, each of which is capable of producing 153MW.

“The first turbine was synchronized to the national grid on December 20, 2017, and will undergo a battery of tests over the coming five weeks. Tests on the second turbine will begin at the end of January 2018, with the tests on the third turbine commencing at the beginning of March 2018. The inauguration process will then conclude at the end of April 2018 when the plant is scheduled to reach full commercial operations.”

It stated that during the four-month inauguration period, the plant would produce over 100,000-megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity which will be sold by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) to the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos).

According to Azura’s Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Edu Okeke, the inauguration process was on time to allow more power come to the national grid for Nigerians to celebrate the Christmas holiday.

“This festive season is one of the peak periods for electricity consumption in Nigeria and it is a source of real pride for Azura that we were able to bring our first turbine onto the grid before Christmas Day,” said Okeke.

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