Businesses in Nigeria are finding it very difficult to operate at a profitable level due largely to poor power supply. Those that could not carry the huge expenses of generating electricity privately for commercial and private use have had to either fold up or relocate to neighboring countries.
Lafarge Africa Plc, a cement production company is one of those that have struggled to weather the storm of the huge financial deficit to remain in business in Nigeria. Now in a need for a permanent solution to the problem, the company has signed an N11 billion deal with Gombe State Government for the construction of a captive coal power plant in the state.
The proposed 16 megawatts Lignite-Fired Plant will be located at the company’s Ashaka cement plant in the State, Board Chairman, Ashakacem Plc, Mallam Suleiman Yahyah said “we will no longer depend on diesel and an unstable import regime. With the sustained efforts going on in the company, Ashakacem Plc will be one of the most efficient cement producers in Nigeria.”
The Northeast is a strategic region where Ashakacem Plc is supporting the reconstruction programme of the government. This project will further strengthen its relationship with Gombe State as well as the surrounding communities, It will also reinforce the importance of Ashakacem Plc as the major manufacturing company in that part of Nigeria.”
Yahayah is certain that the plant will provide constant power to boost cement production in line with its plan to increase Ashakacem Plc production capacity to one million metric tonnes per annum when work is completed on the site.
Bruno Bayet, a director with Runh Power Corp, the company handling the project, said the new plant would not only contribute to the national grid, but also enable the company to significantly reduce its power costs and become independent of public power supply.
Bayet said that the plant will be operated by firing company owned local coal mine reserves located in Maiganga, a 140 km distance from the plant. He added that it would also supply consistent energy that will boost the plant’s operational efficiency.
Lafarge Africa, a member of LafargeHolcim group had largely relied on personal generating sets for power to run its operations.