Cement manufacturer Lafarge Cement WAPCO has commissioned its NGN23bn (US$151.8m) power plant in Ewekoro Ogun State, in a move to ameliorate the power crisis currently facing the country.
The power plant, which consists of six units of 15MW, will generate a total of 90MW to provide electricity to Lafarge’s Lakatabu cement plant as well as to support Nigeria’s quest for power sufficiency.
Managing Director of Lafarge Cement WAPCO, Mr Samy Abdelkader, who spoke during the commissioning ceremony in Ewekoro chaired by governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, stressed that the power plant, which will be fired with gas and liquid fuel, will efficiently supply the factory’s power needs and boost power supply in the country.
He said, “The N23bn power plant, which consists of six 15MW units will be the first operating dual-firing plant in Nigeria. It has a dual-firing system, which can make it to use both gas and liquid fuel.
The importance of the power plant to stable cement production cannot be overestimated in our commitment to ensure availability and affordable cement for Nigerians especially considering the various power related challenges our company has encountered in past”.
According to him, the idea of the new plant was conceived in 2008, while construction started with the foundation laying ceremony February 2009.
The managing director added that the Lakatabu factory will be commissioned in the next few weeks as it is finalising the construction of the production infrastructure.
“I want to assure you that Lafarge WAPCO is wholly committed to remaining a true leader by delivering value to our customers and the built sector. What you are experiencing today is a reflection of the fact that when we promise, we deliver. We are completing the plant on schedule as promised to all our stakeholders,” he said.
He expressed confidence that the Ewekoro II will not just be a cement plant, noting that it will be an embodiment of its commitments to innovation and customer care, a developed work force, with adherence to high quality products and standards, commitments to the values of health and safety and corporate governance.
He said upon the commissioning, the company will be contributing around 12,000tpd of cement to the Nigeria cement market. “Our new plant will be a further testimony to our company’s leadership in innovation as it has the capacity to produce four different qualities of cement to better serve customers’ special requirements,” he said.
He added that the company has keyed into the federal government’s backward integration policy, which aims at self-sufficiency in cement production.
He commended the government’s support to local manufacturers of cement, adding that the company is convinced it will achieve an appreciable stability in the cement sub-sector when there is more volume of cement available to Nigerians. He pointed out that availability will in the long run have a major impact on affordability which is of great concern to the company.
In his remark during the ceremony, the Governor Senator Ibikunle Amosun hailed the efforts of the company in the industrialisation of Ogun state and the nation at large.
He pledged his government’s commitment towards improving the operating environment, to ensure that industries and the entire private sector do not have a hard time operating from Ogun state.
He also stated that the Ogun state government was interested in partnering with Lafarge in various areas to improve infrastructure in the area.
According to Amosun, with Abeokuta requiring only about 30MW power supply to power the entire capital, the state will be looking into a strategic partnership with Lafarge to make that possible in the nearest future.
Acknowledging the 4.5Mta total cement production capacity of Lafarge WAPCO, the governor charged them to expand their business and boost output to a minimum of 10Mta in the near future.