Osinbajo presents discharge certificate to Transcorp Ughelli Power Ltd

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday, presented the discharge certificate to the Chairman of Transcorp Ughelli Power Limited – the core investor in the Ughelli Power Plant -, Mr Tony Elumelu.

During the presentation, he said it would take serious private sector investment in Nigeria’s power sector to meet the country’s rising energy needs.

The discharge comes one month after the National Council on Privatisation approved the recommendations of the Bureau of Public Enterprise that Ughelli Power Plc be delisted from routine monitoring, having satisfied five core post-acquisition requirements, namely: available capacity, capital expenditure, human resources, health, safety and environment and corporate social responsibility.

Commissioned in 1966 with an installed capacity of 972MW, the Ughelli Power Plant, whose capacity had dropped to 300MW, became an asset of the Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc in 2013 under the company’s power subsidiary, Transcorp Ughelli Power Limited.

Since its acquisition a decade ago, the Bureau of Public Enterprise has carried out post-acquisition monitoring and evaluation on the facility, the BPE Director-General, Alex Okoh, revealed at the meeting.

Speaking at the State House, Abuja, the VP said, “The power needs of our country are grave. And we strongly believe that the right approach is the privatisation of the power sector to enable serious-minded private sector players to invest in the provision of public power and ensure that they are efficient while they make a profit at the same time.”

He called on other private sector players to follow suit, saying, “We hope that this will not be the last in the series of private power companies that are taking over power plants that are unable to meet the expectations of the post-evaluation plans.”

The Vice President also described the routine evaluation and monitoring of the power-generating company as an essential feature of the post-acquisition plan by the BPE.

“It has covenants and deliverables which the enterprise is supposed to live up to. And we found, in this case, that Transcorp Power PLC has done exactly that. We have been able to ensure compliance with all of the deliverables and, in some cases, even exceeding the covenanted deliverables in the PAP,” the VP added.

He commended the management of Transcorp Power, urging the company to “continue in that path and to do even better.”

On his part, the DG BPE explained the discharge certificate became necessary after an evaluation showed that UPP’s generation capacity under Trancorp Power grew by 227 per cent in a decade.

He said, “Following a capacity determination and validation of Ughelli Power PLC by the consultants engaged by the National Council on Privatisation, it was determined that generation capacity had increased by about 227 per cent from the operational status of 300 megawatts at the point of handover in 2013.

“The company has achieved an available capacity of 680.8 megawatts, which surpasses the minimum performance target of 670 megawatts. Capital expenditure totalling N58.6bn was the covenant established for phases one and two of the post-acquisition plan, while actual investments made by the current investor were in the sum of N83.85bn. All the agreed benchmarks on human resources, health, safety and environment and corporate social responsibility have also been achieved.

“Your Excellency, having exceeded the minimum performance targets and having fulfilled all the agreed obligations, the National Council on Privatisation at its meeting on April 4, 2023, considered and approved the recommendations of the Bureau and its requests that the company, Ughelli Power PLC be approved for delisting from routine monitoring.”

In his remarks, Mr Elumelu revealed that the company’s indigenisation plan has ensured that the Power Plant is managed and run by Nigerians alone.

“Mr Vice President, let me also say that in addition to the criteria set, we actually are doing a very strong indigenisation of Transcorp Power Plc. I’m proud to say that our power plant is managed and operated 100 per cent by Nigerians.

“We at Transcorp Group recognise the importance of improved access to electricity. We know that with improved access to electricity, people can go to school, hospitals can function well, businesses can operate very well and most importantly can empower the industrialisation of our country.

“This is why we invested in power and continue to invest in the power sector because we know it holds the key largely to the success of our country,” he said.

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