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Cross River moves to boost electricity supply in local councils

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To boost electricity supply in the rural communities, the Cross River government has concluded plans to build a two-megawatt power plant in each of the 18 local councils of the state.

The project, billed for completion on or before 2019, is to be executed in partnership with a South African firm, Industrial Project Services (IPS).During the presentation at the weekend in Calabar, Governor Ben Ayade said: “I have 18 local government areas and it is my commitment to ensure that every council and village has electricity under my watch.”

Admitting that the move was very ambitious, he, however, noted that the plants would incorporate renewable and non-renewable energy sources, adding that the state was “considering the option of using solar for the day and gas fire for the night.”

Ayade went on: “The radiation studies and baseline data for Nigeria cover copiously a spectrum of Cross River. Obviously the radiation that we see from literature studies shows clearly that we have a high level of it, thereby making the applicability of solar as an energy source in the northern and central part of the state very viable.

“We are trying to have an industrial setting where we will actually be dealing with power supply and solar base systems to stranded communities, those that are disconnected from the national grid as well as some municipalities that are there.”

The governor averred that the choice of the partner was informed by its antecedents.“This will be the first solar power project to be undertaken in South South Nigeria at a commercial scale. Once this succeeds, it means that we would have opened the door to the real big market of Africa which is Nigeria and if you have the Nigerian market, Africa will simply follow,” he said.

A representative of the firm, Mark Philips, boasted that his organisation observes global best practices in operations as evidenced in similar projects it had executed in 13 African and two European nations among others.


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Ben Ayade

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