………With natural disaster resistant underground tubular poles
………Experts say it a world class model of how to do electricity business
The number of electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) in Nigeria has increased to 12 with the admission of new electricity distribution company built by Geometric Power Ltd, known as known the APL Electric Company Ltd in the commercial city of Aba, Abia state.
APL Electric Company is to provide electricity to nine out of the 17 local government areas in Abia State, including Aba, Nigeria’s headquarters of indigenous manufacturing and technology, in an arrangement technically known as the Aba Ring Fence Area.
The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC)’s handed over the Aba Ring Fence Area to Geometric Power last February 16 under the supervision of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) in Abuja.
A chief executive, Patrick Umeh, was named for the company. The chief executive is said to have worked for 22 years at the Los Angeles department of water and power before joining the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) where he served as the commissioner for finance and management services.
He is said to have also worked as the NERC commissioner for markets, competition and rates.
In preparation for the takeoff of the new DisCo, which is expected to guarantee safe, constant, quality and affordable power to industries, commercial places and residences, four new distribution substations have been built and three inherited from the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) refurbished, in addition to one new brand generation substation.
Geometric Power Ltd is an integrated power firm led by Professor Bart Nnaji, a globally rated engineering professor and former Nigerian minister of power from July, 2011, to August, 2012.
Nnaji had also served for one year as the special adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan and chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP).
According to chairman of the South East branch of the Electricity Consumers Association of Nigeria, Engineer Joseph Onyekachi, the facilities in the Aba Ring Fence Area are truly world-class.
Onyekachi, himself a power sector veteran, affirmed that “even in the unlikely occurrence of an earthquake or any other natural disaster in Abia or any of the neighbouring states, the nine LGAs in Abia State covered by APL Electric Company Ltd will still enjoy power supply because of the type of safety measures taken by Geometric Power group.
“For example, instead of regular electricity poles which dot Nigerian cities, towns and villages, Geometric Power installed tubular poles, with 10 metres of each buried in the ground, as in Japan because of the frequent occurrence of natural disasters in the Asian nation.”
He stressed that the Aba Ring Fence Area is designed and built as a model of how to do electricity business in Nigeria, and will be run to the highest standards in the world.