Mr. Makinde, while holding the ceremony within the Secretariat of State Complex in Ibadan, said that the project would be executed by Elektron Energy within six to eight months at a cost of N8.27 billion.
According to him, the contractor will build, execute and transfer the project, then the state government will reimburse Elektron Energy’s capital investment over a period of 10 years.
“And within this period, the energy company will operate and manage the infrastructure,” said the governor.
Makinde described the project as a correct step taken by his administration to tackle the electricity problem.
He said Nigeria had been unable to “generate and distribute enough power to provide 24/7 power to its citizens.
“Over time, capable people have bought different sizes of diesel / gasoline generators or invested in solar energy as alternative energy sources,” he said.
On issues related to the distribution of energy in the country, the governor explained that some people believed that only the Federal Government has the power to distribute energy.
“So any power generated at the state or local level must be fed into national greed before it can be distributed, this is partially true.
“Under the Electric Power Sector Reform Laws of 2005, independent power distribution is allowed, with respect to distribution licenses.
“Section 67: 1 establishes that subject to such terms and conditions, as determined by the commission, a distribution license will authorize the licensee to build, operate and maintain a distribution system and facilities,” he said.
The governor said that it was on the basis of these laws that his government signed a contract with Elektron Energy to finance and develop the 11 megawatt Hybrid Power Solution for the state government.
Mr. Makinde added that the company, Elektron Energy, would use Ibadan Hybrid Power Limited, (Hypower) as the special purpose vehicle to perform the contract.
He hinted that Hypower would be responsible for managing the distribution infrastructure through Ibadan Hybrid Distribution Limited “which will have an independent electricity distribution network.”
Highlighting some of the areas that would benefit from the project upon completion, Makinde said that the Secretary of State where the project would be located would be the first beneficiary along with government facilities within the Secretariat.
“In addition, the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, opened in September, would benefit from the PPI when completed.
“Others are 12 health care centers, including Adeoyo Maternity Teaching Hospital and State Hospital, Ring Road in Ibadan.
“This IPP will also feed a radius of no less than 10 kilometers of public lighting under the Light Up Oyo project.
“In addition, it will cover the energy needs of the two court complexes at Iyanganku and Ring Road in Ibadan.
“Additionally, the Oyo State House of Assembly and a selection of schools within a defined watershed of the secretary of state’s generating plant will benefit,” the governor said.
Furthermore, he hinted that his government was already thinking of incorporating a similar project into his administration’s vision to facilitate the expansion of the state economic base by making power available to industrial catchment areas.
In his opening remarks, State Energy and Natural Resources Commissioner Seun Ashamu said the project was part of the Makinde administration’s initiative to provide infrastructure for the state’s economic growth.
Mr. Ashamu described infrastructure as the basis of social development and essential to induce economic development.
“Unfortunately in Nigeria today, we have an installed generation capacity of around 13,000 megawatts with an average disposed of around 4,000 megawatts.
“But, we only distribute between 3, 500 and 4,000 megawatts, which is further reduced by technical losses in the distribution infrastructure.
“Therefore, a project like this – IPP, will ensure the sustainability of what we are doing in the state, since we will be able to guarantee electricity 24 hours a day,” he said.
The commissioner assured the people of the state that the 11 megawatt hybrid gas-solar plant, when completed and inaugurated, will result in improved productivity of government personnel and long-term cost savings, among other benefits.
Commenting, Tola Talabi, the Managing Director of Elektron Energy, said that his company, Elektron Energy, was in a unique position to deliver the project to the people of the state in six months.
Mr. Talabi said the power plant, when completed, will boost productivity, development, employment and services for the government and people of Oyo State.
He said it would be a catalyst to show that a stand-alone power project could viable commercially operate in the state.
“This hybrid power solution is comprised of 10 megawatts of gas engines and one megawatt of solar power,” said Talabi.
He said the hybrid power project has significant benefits for the people of the state, including reducing costs and pollution, boosting productivity, among others.
Some of the government officials present were the Lieutenant Governor, Rauf Olaniyan, the Secretary of State Government, Olubamiwo Adeosun; some commissioners and CEOs of local governments.
In addition, some traditional rulers, Aseyin de Iseyin, AbdulGaniyu Adekunle and Okere de Saki, Oba Khalid Olabisi, witnessed the opening ceremony.