NIPPs preferred bidders to be announced in Jan

Preferred bidders for the 10 gas-fired electricity generation companies developed under the National Integrated Power Project will be announced in January next year, the Federal Government has said.

The government, on Monday, also opened publicly the proposals of 66 prospective investors for the 80 per cent stake in the NIPPs built by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company.

The Managing Director, NDPHC, Mr. James Olotu, said the bidders would be announced after their proposals had been thoroughly scrutinised by an evaluation committee set up by the government.

Olotu spoke at an event on the public opening of proposals by the prospective investors in Abuja.

He said, “We are hoping that by January ending, we should be able to announce the preferred bidders, not necessarily approval. We should be able to announce those who came highest in the bidding process.”

According to the NDPHC boss, the evaluation committee has commenced its duty.

“Hopefully, by 23rd of this month or thereabouts, they should have completed all that will kick-start the approval process.

“The committee will be working for a minimum of two weeks. If they need more time, we will give them but the target is that in the next two weeks, they will bring the evaluation based on certain parameters,” he said.

Olotu said the committee would be looking out for three things from the proposals of the bidders.

First, according to him, is the competence of the investors to operate and manage successfully the power plants of the capacity that they wish to acquire; second is their financial capability; and “lastly, to ensure that the team that forms a consortium is strong enough and not one that may fall apart halfway into the process.”

On the number of prospective investors, he said, “Sixty-six companies bid and the 66 bids were opened today and there was no immediate disqualification.”

Olotu explained that in the NDPHC guidelines, bidders must have a net worth ranging from $100m to $250m, depending on the capacity of the power plant.

He stated that the process was transparent, adding that the Federal Government involved the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the State Security Service in the exercise.

He said, “Reason being that some people may claim in the bid papers that they have X on paper when they don’t. So, there is a process for revalidating those things that they say they have in order to be sure.”

The NIPPs are expected to contribute about 4,700 megawatts of power to the existing generating capacity.

The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, stated that the Federal Government was looking for preferred bidders, who would do justice to the entire process.

He said the bidding process closed at 5pm last Friday, adding that “no one who came one minute late was accommodated.”

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