Mainstream Energy Hires Austrian Firm to Overhaul Nigeria’s Oldest Hydropower Plants

Mainstream Energy Hires Austrian Firm to Overhaul Nigeria’s Oldest Hydropower Plants

Nigeria’s largest hydropower generation company, Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited (MESL), has announced the engagement of ANDRITZ, an Austrian firm, for the rehabilitation, overhaul and modernisation of two generating units, 2G5 and 2G6, at the Jebba hydropower plant as well as the Kainji facility.The company which stated that the move was in line with its capacity recovery and expansion programme, noted that Jebba was commissioned in 1985, while the second plant,  Kainji opened in 1968 to generate a cumulative 20 per cent of Nigeria’s power.

A privately-owned company governed by a Board of Directors and an Executive Management team that oversees daily operations, MESL which was incorporated in 2011 and licensed as a power generating company, noted in a release that the Kainji and

Jebba hydropower plants have a combined installed generation capacity of 1,338.4 MW.It noted that both were acquired through a concession agreement with the federal government of Nigeria in November 2013.“The two plants are in a cascade 100 km apart with Kainji Dam upstream of Jebba and are rated at 760 MW and 578.4 MW, respectively. Kainji was commissioned as Nigeria’s first hydropower plant in 1968, whereas Jebba was commissioned in 1985.

“When the power plants were taken over, Jebba was not operating at full power and Kainji was not generating at all. As a result, the total available capacity of both plants was only 482 MW. In response, MESL introduced its Capacity Recovery and Expansion Programme to restore both generating facilities and bring them back to full power,” the firm stated.The company added that work had already begun at the Jebba hydropower plant which houses six generating units, of which two now need a general overhaul.“In mid-2019, the senior management team of MESL visited ANDRITZ’ locations in Austria to get an impression of our extensive R&D, manufacturing and engineering facilities.

“During the visit a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed agreeing to negotiate the scope for the rehabilitation of unit 2G6 of the Jebba hydropower plant as well as the overhaul of units 2G5, 2G3, 2G2 and 2G1, including their associated equipment.“In February 2020, ANDRITZ received the first major contract for the 2G6 project. The scope of supply covers the entire electro- and hydro-mechanical equipment, including a 96.4 MW turbine, a 103 MVA generator, and accessory equipment, as well as the intake gate.

“In September 2021, a second order for the rehabilitation of the 2G5 unit with an identical scope of supply was awarded. Both units are expected to be operational in 2024,” Mainstream stated.It stressed that Jebba is currently equipped with six 96.4 MW turbines and has a total generating capacity of 578.4 MW while ANDRITZ is the original equipment supplier for the turbines.

Nigeria is Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest economy and the largest oil producer in Africa. It is also the most populous country of the continent with a growing demand for energy to support Nigeria’s industrialisation agenda.The firm stated that the successful privatisation process of the hydropower sector has been ongoing and attracting companies to invest in the renewable power sector.

In line with the company’s ambitious expansion strategy, MESL said it would also partner ANDRITZ to provide technical services in its bid to acquire more power generation assets within Nigeria and beyond.ANDRITZ, it said, has been active in Nigeria for more than 100 years and was involved in Nigeria’s most important hydropower projects such as Kainji, Jebba, Shiroro and the recently commissioned Kashimbila project.“Taking account of the development of the hydropower market and in order to strengthen its position in the very promising Nigerian region, ANDRITZ has established a legal entity in Nigeria,” the firm noted.


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