VENTURES AFRICA – Nigeria is to earn $709 million as consortiums consisting construction giant Julius Berger, diversified conglomerate Transcorp, First Bank and Forte Oil owned by billionaire businessman Femi Otedola, were announced as preffered bidders for the purchase of five power generation plants in a privatization process that is to facilitate the end of the country’s longstanding power problem.
About $40 billion have been invested over the last two decades to increase power generation and distribution in Africa’s most populous nation, having a meager 4,000 megawatts of power generation to show for it – an amount lesser than a tenth of South Africa’s power generation which serves a population a third of Nigeria’s 150 million.
President Goodluck Jonathan has promised a steady power supply by 2013 and embarked on the privatization of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), selling it to bidders as 11 distribution and six generation companies.
Chairman of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) Mr. Atedo Peterside on Tuesday announced the selected bidders, with a consortium consisting of Transcorp, co-owned by Tony Elumelu’s Heirs Holdings, as the highest bidder with a $300 million offering. The consortium became the preferred bidder for the Ughelli Power plant, over Feniks Electricity and Amperion Power Distribution Ltd which offered $252 million.
Amperion, a consortium of UK-based Guernsey, Shanghai Municipal Electric Power of China and Forte Oil Plc, a petrol marketing firm owned by Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola, won the bid for the Geregu Power Plant with a $132 million offering.
For Sapele Power Plc, CMEC/Eurafric Energy JV, a consortium, which includes financial giant FirstBank Nigeria Plc, won the bid with an offer of $201 million while Julius Berger Nigeria sits as reserved bidder with a $106.5 million proposition.
The Shiroro Power Plant bid was won with a $23.6 million offering from Niger state-owned North-South Power Company Ltd.
For the Kwara-based plant Kainji, Mainstream Energy Solutions Ltd, a consortium which includes businessman Col. Sani Bello, and NIGELEC, a Niger Republic registered company, was announced as the preferred bidder, with an offer of $50.7 million.
According to BusinessDay, Peterside explained: “Out of the 23 bids that made it to the evaluation stage, 10 failed the first test of completeness and responsiveness. The remaining 13 bids were then subjected to full technical evaluation. Out of the 13 bids, eight scored the minimum of 75 per cent that was required to progress to the next stage. The bidders that scored 75 per cent and above were asked to submit the post-qualification bidders’ guarantee, following the approval of the evaluation results by NCP.”