FirstBank, Otedola, IBB, Elumelu bid $1.11b on PHCN

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A MAJOR step in the battle for stable electricity was taken yesterday.

Construction giant Julius Berger, First Bank, Transcorp and Forte Oil, owned by businessman Femi Otedola, are among the consortia of companies named as successful bidders for the unbundled Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) generation firms.

Five of the six generation companies were put up for the bid. The sixth – Afam Generation Company – was excluded because non of the three companies that submitted bids for it was qualified.

The six generation companies are part of the 18 firms in the unbundled PHCN – the power behomoth that has failed to take this country out of darkness.

National Council on Privatisation (NCP) chair Mr. Atedo Peterside announced the result.

Berger, Nestoil, others among successful bidders.

The companies are located in Geregu, Ughelli, Sapele, Shiroro and Kainji.

The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) named a consortium, which includes Transcorp Nigeria Plc, as the highest bidder for the Ughelli Power Plc, with an offer of $300 million.

The consortium of Transcorp and Wood Rock/Symbion Power/Medea/PSL/Thomasen emerged as the preferred bidder over Amperion Power Distribution Ltd and Feniks Electricity.

Amperion, a consortium, which includes Forte Oil Plc, a petrol marketing firm with majority shares owned by Otedola, offered $252 million to emerge as reserve bidder.

Symbion Power is a United States (U.S) electricity company, Medea is a Luxemburg-based engineering firm. PSL is an indigenous firm and Thomassen Services, an Oman engineering company.

For Geregu Power Plant, a group known as Amperion Power Distribution Ltd, which includes Forte Oil Plc, won with a bid of 132 million.

Other partners in Amperion include Guernsey, a company located in a United Kingdom (UK) protectorate in Europe and Shanghai Municipal Electric Power of China.

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.

The reserved bidder for Sapele is a group comprising Julius Berger Nigeria, which offered $106.5 million above the reserve price of $106 million.

North-South Power Company Ltd, with former Military President Gen. Ibrahim Babangida as a promoter, Niger State government as a stakeholder, won the bid for Shiroro Power Plant, offering $23.6 million.

Other core investors in the company include indigenous firms XS Energy Ltd, BP Investment Ltd, Urban Shelter Ltd and Road Nigeria Plc.

The “Shiroro Group’’ also has China International Water Electric and China Three Gorges Corporation, an electric power utility company.

For Kainji, Mainstream Energy Solutions Ltd, a consortium which includes businessman Col. Sani Bello, and NIGELEC, a Niger Republic registered company, is the preferred bidder, with an offer of $50.7 million.

The companies offered a total $1.119billion for the five companies.

The eight firms that qualified for the five companies are: Amperion Power Distribution Company Limited (Geregu), Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited (Kainji), North-South Power Company Limited (Shiroro), Amperion Power Distribution Company Limited (Ughelli), Feniks Electricity Limited (Ughelli), Transcorp & Woodrock/ Symbion/ Medea/ PSL/ Thomassen (Ughelli), CMEC/Eurafric Energy JV (Sapele) and JBN-Nestoil Power Services Limited (Sapele).

The NCP reminded Amperion Power Distribution Limited that the rules allow it to win only one generation company.

Peterside said: “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.

“Officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) also observed the entire process from bid submission to the conclusion of evaluation. They were, therefore, witnesses to the fact that all late-comers were turned back.”

The NCP chairman said there was no controversy over the sale of generation plants located in Kainji and Shiroro in Kwara and Niger states.

“Kainji and Shiroro are hydro assets; you cannot sell River Niger and you can only give a consensus to the people utilising it. So there is no controversy over the issue of hydro plants,” he said.

Mr Obinna Okudo, Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp, told reporters that his company would “deliver optimum services to Nigerians.’’

“We are going to let Nigerians know that a Nigerian company can lead a foremost Nigerian sector (electricity),’’ he said shortly after his company was announced as the preferred bidder for Ughelli.

Director-General Bolanle Onagoruwa assured investors of NCP’s commitment to international best practice in the sale of the 17 PHCN successor companies.

Onagoruwa said: “We wish to reaffirm that the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) will continue to ensure that electricity sector privatisation transactions are completed to the best of internationally accepted standards.

“We have come so far and achieved so much since mid-2010 when this administration restarted the electricity sector reform programme.

“With your support and with the strong desire to serve our patient and long-suffering citizens of Nigeria, we will continue to strive to achieve even more and ultimately succeed.’’


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