Lafarge Africa Plc signed a contract for the sum of N11 billion to build a captive power plant at its Ashaka plant in Gombe State, North-Eastern Nigeria with a Chinese contractor, RUNH Power Corp today at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja. The agreement is for erection of a 16 megawatts lignite- fired plant.
In his welcome address, the Chairman of the Board of Ashakacem, Mallam Suleiman Yahyah, OON, said the power supply transformation was the first step in the development of the cement plant to recover cost leadership in the North East region of Nigeria, hitherto ranked amongst the most expensive energy costs in the LafargeHolcim Group. "The North Eastern region is a strategic region where Ashaka is supporting the reconstruction program of the Government. This project will further strengthen the relationship with Gombe State as well as the communities and reinforce the importance of Ashaka as the major manufacturing company in that part of the Country" he stated.
He expressed optimism that "the captive power plant will supply consistent energy to boost the plant operational efficiency that will transform Ashaka production capacity to 1 million metric tonnes per annum".
While presenting details of the Coal Power Plant project, the Project Director, Bruno Bayet recalled that the company had been relying on the power from the grid and generating sets, running on diesel since its inception in 1974. He described the construction of the power plant as a laudable initiative that would enable the company to significantly reduce its power costs and be independent from the Grid. "The Power Plant, which will secure long term reliable power supply and improve the reliability of our production will be operated by firing owned local coal mine reserves located in Maiganga, 140km distance from the plant and will supply consistent energy to boost the plant's operational efficiency" he stated.
The signing ceremony of the coal fired power plant contract was witnessed by representatives of the Honourable Ministers of Solid Minerals, Environment, and Industry as well as the Executive Governor of Gombe State, notables Emirs in the State as well as other dignitaries and key stakeholders of the biggest manufacturing entity in the North East, Nigeria.
Dignitaries at the ceremony commended Lafarge Africa Plc for its sustained interest in the North East Region and Nigeria as a long term investor as can be attested to by the multinational's continued presence, unwavering support and increasing investment in the region, despite the security situation.
Following the contract signing, the contractor, RUNH Power Corp. - a professional complete power equipment supplier and a power plant expert - is expected to mobilize to site to start-up activities in September, while construction work will start in earnest before the year-end for completion of the project by end of Q1 2018.