A South Korean firm, Kingline Integrated Power Development Limited has
expressed its readiness to build a 550 Megawatts gas fired power plant in Cross River State.
Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Sean Kim dropped the hint when he led a delegation from the firm on courtesy visit to the governor, Senator Ben Ayade in Government House, Calabar, yesterday.
His words: “We have already done some preliminary checks in Cross River State and the proposed sites meet all of the requirements which is why we are here today. The next phase will be the application for a generation licence, initiating processes for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and preparations for the project among other necessary bureaucratic processes.”
Offering insights into the financing of the project, bearing in mind the current economic realities in the country, Kim said: “On financing, about 560 million USD will be coming in from the company and other investors which includes the World Bank,” pointing out that the monies will “be sufficient to get this power plant underway”.
He further disclosed: “We intend to invest around 10 million dollars during the developing phase and then once we get to the financing closure, together with our investors, we plan to bring in about USD150 million in terms of equity. At the same time, we will put together a debt package of around USD400 million composed of export credit, agency support from Korea as well as the World Bank and others.”
Kim who appealed for land and security from the state government, described the partnership as one that will be a “win-win and beneficial” as the state will have the opportunity as a shareholder, the value creation on the share, the dividend and tax revenues as well as creation of over 1,000 jobs. He said the local content act will be effective in the hiring of labour for the building of the plant.
Responding, Cross River State governor, Professor Ben Ayade lauded the firm for bringing the projects to the state. He added that the idea of gas fired turbines was apt because the state’s capital city, Calabar, was designed to be “The epicenter of gas gathering around the southern flank in the national gas master plan.”
“You are doing the right thing, you are coming at the right time as this is the time that you also have the right incentives. The gas to power tariff is completely restructured in such a way that it will support you to buy gas to generate power. And so, I believe that with that scenario, the gas fired turbine will be a good way to go,” Ayade reasoned.
The Governor further explained that the choice of Cross River to invest, was not only good but that it also ticked all the boxes needed for business to thrive in the Niger Delta corridor, considering environmental peace, social peace, topography and others variables.”
While assuring the firm of massive returns on their investment, Ayade said: “You don’t have to carry a policeman, you don’t need to carry law enforcement to force Cross Riverians to pay utility bills because we are educated, we are very civilized, we are very cultured because we had the earliest contact with civilization as a state,” stressing why Cross River remained a leading investment destination in Nigeria.