Gas-powered plant boosts industrial development, employment in Aba

By Kingsley Jeremiah | The Guardian

Clarke Energy and Nicen Industries Limited are scaling up manufacturing activities in Aba, the industrial hub of Abia State through a one-megawatt gas-fired plant.

This is coming days after the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) said Nigeria’s economy recorded as much as N10.1 trillion yearly loss due to epileptic power supply.

With companies turning to off-grid solutions in the face of high energy costs, especially diesel, Clark Energy had installed the gas-powered plant in an attempt to create sustainable electricity and drive profitability.

Managing Director of Nicen Industries Limited, Chris Eze, in a chat with journalists, disclosed that the singular approach created a leeway to complete and retain its operations in Nigeria.

He said the company, which specialises in the manufacturing of plastic and a range of paints, has since sustained and scaled up its production through a stable power supply.

According to him, when the power supply became unbearable in Aba with the cost of diesel rising, the company was forced to devise a sustainable solution.

Eze said Clarke Energy conducted engineering, installation, and maintenance of the sustainable power generation solutions, to power the firm’s industrial hub.

He commended the company’s regularly scheduled maintenance visits, which he said testified to their product quality because only a vendor confident in its products will undertake to periodically visit an installation site to carry out maintenance without fear.

“Sometimes gas is unavailable through the pipelines for extended periods due to scheduled preventive or corrective maintenance.

“If the grid supply was regular, there wouldn’t be a need for an alternative power source. Therefore, to solve our power problem, we invested in owning our gas power plant,” he said.

Speaking on some of the other challenges facing the company, Eze said the deficient road network in Aba is one of the company’s biggest challenges as it affects the speed of moving raw materials into the factory and finished products to Nigeria’s markets, particularly in Aba, Lagos, Kano and Abuja.

Eze also suggested that easing some of the tax components across some levels of authority, such as state and local government areas, is an idea the government could look into because it incentivises small and medium-sized businesses to grow.

“To further grow our economy, we must support local manufacturing to help reduce the unemployment rate and improve the quality of life of Nigerians. Because no government can do all that alone, they must assist the local industries with the needed incentives,” he said.

“In June 2020, Clarke Energy supplied and commissioned a 1MW gas power plant solution which included the complete front-end engineering design, installation and project management and currently provides its stellar maintenance support to the plant.

“The 1MW power plant solution delivery describes the Clarke Energy commitment towards improving the manufacturing and processing value chain in Aba and the south-eastern part of Nigeria,” Managing Director of Clarke Energy, Yiannis Tsantilas said.

The partnership, according to him, aimed at reducing the costs of manufacturing durable plastics and high-quality decorative paints that are affordable and competitive in the local market.

The organisations said the move demonstrated local industrial capability and capacity to ensure made-in-Nigeria wins.

Reportedly, the plant is powered by natural gas supplied by Shell Nigeria through gas pipelines belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

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