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Resuscitate the Gbarain Power Plant now—Reps urge Shettima

Resuscitate the Gbarain Power Plant now—Reps urge Shettima

Resuscitate the Gbarain Power Plant now—Reps urge Shettima

By Princess Gandepuun

The Gbarain Power Plant is an open-cycle gas turbine power plant built to accommodate future conversions to a combined-cycle gas turbine configuration. It is an operating power station of at least 252 megawatts located in Koroama, Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital. Resuscitation of the plant will enhance the efficiency of the national grid, but the plant is a waste. Why?


Hon. Oboku Oforji is a member of the 10th Assembly in the House of Representatives. He is of the opposition party, the PDP, from Bayelsa. During the sitting of the House recently, Rep. Oforji moved a motion of urgent public importance that was centered on the Gbarain Power Plant.

He informed the House about the forlorn condition of the power plant and why it needs urgent attention.

Hear him: “On November 30, 2020, the NDPHC lost the Power Control Module of the Gbarain power plant to a fire incident… and the Bayelsa State Government offered to take on some responsibilities of the NDPHC since it was the most affected, particularly as the state-owned Niger Delta University sources its electricity supply from the station.”

He further explained that the State Government undertook the rehabilitation and restoration of power supply through the 60MVA, 132/33KV power transformer, which is currently supplying the Gbarain power station auxiliaries, and the host communities through the 2×15 MVA, 33/11KV injection substation, which was not functioning before the intervention.

The Rep member expressed displeasure, saying that three years later, the NDPHC “has not been able to live up to their responsibility by replacing the power control module, allegedly neglected in one of its uncompleted stations.”

The Gbarain Power Station, he noted, “has a proximity of only 700m to the Gbarain Ubie multi-million dollar central gas processing facility that transports over one billion standard cubic feet of gas to the NLNG in Bonny, so gas supply is not a constraint. 

“However, one is prompted to doubt the competence of NDPHC to manage this power plant, which has the potential to be the largest power station in the nation because of its comparative advantage over other power plants in its proximity to gas,” Oforji said.

The lawmaker stated that, by reaching its potential, Gbarain Power Station can conveniently power the whole Niger Delta region and beyond, bur expressed displeasure, saying that rather than resuscitate the power plant, which was built with $400 million and is valued as of today at over $800 million, “the management of the NDPHC is proposing to designate the 252 MW open cycle power station as a construction site, thereby abandoning its primary responsibility of running it to the benefit of the state, the Niger Delta, and the nation at large.

He made known the fact that the Shell Petroleum Development Company has over 60 million metric tons of gas allocated to the plant, which, he said, “is not utilized due to the inability of the company to operate.“  He warned that the community therefore is at great risk in the event of a leakage in the gas pipeline. 

According to the Rep, it is the intervention of the Bayelsa State Government that has kept the equipment intact, because they are supposed to be at a controlled temperature; if not, they would have exploded.” 



Following the adoption of the motion, the House summoned the Managing Director of NDPHC, Mr. Joseph Ugbo, to appear before its Committee on Power to explain the state of the Gbarain power plant. 

As a sequel, the House has called on Vice President Kashim Shettima, who is the Chairman of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) board, to immediately convene an emergency meeting to find ways and means to resuscitate the Gbarain Power Plant—a situation that would enhance the efficiency of the national grid. 


Nigeria needs at least 40,000 megawatts to ensure stable supply around the country, yet as of 2023, it generated barely a quarter of this requirement. Consequently, outages are endemic, frustrating both individuals and businesses, the latter of which often resort to self-generation at substantial costs. 

Finding resolution to the power quandary in Nigeria necessitates the intersection of political will, economic feasibility, and technological capability. Industry experts maintain that investment in grid modernization is most paramount. But compounding this are fiscal inefficiencies and rampant corruption, as noted by the African Development Bank in its analysis of the sector, which suggests that financial leakages and mismanagement stifle efforts for reform.

However, the envisioned solutions, including a committed expansion of the renewable energy portfolio and infrastructural renewal with regulatory and fiscal reforms, could illuminate a path forward toward sustainable electrification.

With concerted action, continued research, and practical implementation of these proposals, Nigeria has an opportunity to surmount these persistent hurdles and fuel its socio-economic ascent.

As regards the abandoned Gbarain Power Plant, what actions the Tinubu presidency intends to take now or in the future remain to be seen.

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