Ardova Plc, Sifax Energy, 14 others set to acquire five NIPP power plants 

Oredola Adeola

In a bid to conclude the on-going power sector reform program which commenced in 2005, following the enactment of the electric power sector reform act of 2005, the Federal Government has short-listed Ardova Plc, Sifax Energy and fourteen(14) other energy companies that are pre-qualified for the privatisation of five National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) in the country.

Mr Alex Okoh, the Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises(BPE), confirmed this in a statement issued by the Bureau’s Head of Public Communications, Mr. Chidi Ibeh, in Abuja on Thursday.

EnergyDay gathered that the preferred bidders will be required to pay the full purchase consideration for the acquisition of 80 per cent equity in the NIPP generation companies. Investigations showed that technical bidding for the assets surpassed the evaluation threshold, as it appeared to be the most competitive commercial bid with a price of US$751.240 Million (the “Bid Price”).

The BPE DG in the statement listed the NIPP plants to include, Benin Generation Company Limited at Ihovba, Edo State; Calabar Generation Company Limited, Cross River State; Geregu Generation Company Limited, Kogi State; Olorunsogo Generation Company Limited; Ogun State; and Omotosho Generation Company Limited, Ondo State.

Okoh, said, “The 16 pre-qualified bidders included Mota-Engil Nig, Amperion Power, Sifax Energy, Pacific Energy Company Ltd and Globeleq Africa L, Geoplex Drillteq Ltd, Asfalizo Acquisition Ltd, Launder hill PJB, Lauderhill Tata, Unicorn Power Genco Ltd, and Connaught Energy Services Ltd.

Others are ENL Consortium Ltd, Ardova Plc, Central Electric and Utilities Ltd, North South Power Consortium and Quantum Megawatt Consortium.

The BPE boss said that the power sector remained a viable investment in the country given the low per-capital Megawatts recorded in Nigeria.

He said, “The interest shown by bidders and the opening up of the generation aspect of the power sector confirms the vast opportunities that abound in the sector.

“The bureau and other relevant stakeholders are committed to making the sector sustainable.’’

Okoh said the objectives of the pre-bid conference were to address possible questions from the pre-qualified bidders about the transactions and provide clarity on any issues in the transaction documents.

The director-general said that the forum would also highlight the potential of the Nigerian power sector.

“It will also provide a platform for potential investors to understand the process for the privatisation of the NIPP power plants, as well as to enable them to adequately prepare their bid documents.

“This event is a continuation of the Federal Government’s reform of the power sector to ensure that assets within the sector are fully utilised and transformed into world-class facilities.

“This will be achieved through the injection of private sector capital and deployment of more efficient and technical capacity.”

According to Okoh, the event attracted critical stakeholders in the power sector including the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Niger Delta Power Holding Company, and Nigerian Bulk Trading Company.

“It would be recalled that the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) in April 2021 approved the adoption of a fast-track strategy for the privatisation of the five NIPP plants.

“Council also approved the engagement of CPCS Consortium as the Technical Adviser for the 100 per cent sale of the five NIPP plants, in line with the policy of divesting government shares from thermal generating plants.

“Subsequently, the bureau advertised in three on Thursday, May 6, 2021, calling for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from prospective investors for the sale of the five NIPP power plants, with a submission deadline of Wednesday, June 30, 2021.

“At the expiration of the deadline for the submission of EOIs, 36 EOIs were duly submitted from the prospective investors.

“The closure for the receipt of the EOIs was witnessed by the representatives of the Department of State Security Services, Anti-corruption and Transparency/Servicom Unit (ACTSU) of the bureau,” the BPE DG said.