Consortium Led by Chrome Energy Poised to Boost Nigerian Electricity

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| Source: The Chrome Group

ABUJA, Nigeria, Oct. 18, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Chrome Energy a subsidiary of the Chrome Group (www.thechromegroup.net), a leading West African oil and gas conglomerate, is firming up plans with its consortium partners that make up Interstate Electrics Limited for the eventual takeover of the Enugu Distribution Company (Disco) and the Abuja Disco. Earlier this week, the National Council on Privatization (NCP) and the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) opened commercial bids for 10 Discos slated for sale under Nigeria's power privatization program, which revealed that Interstate Electrics Limited is the preferred bidder for the Enugu and Abuja Discos.

In addition to Chrome Energy, the Interstate Electrics Limited consortium includes Power House International Limited and Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) of Thailand. The combined balance sheet of the consortium members exceeds $20 billion, which illustrates their financial capability to complete both acquisitions and upgrade the Enugu and Abuja networks.

"We are looking forward to the official announcement of preferred bidders and getting the necessary security bonds and contracts in place so we can get to work with our consortium partners on improving electricity services and business efficiencies for the benefit of all Nigerians for many years to come," said Sir Emeka Offor, chairman of The Chrome Group. "We agree with those who call this a landmark achievement, because the reliable and efficient delivery of affordable electricity is essential for Nigeria's continued economic growth."

Interstate Electrics Limited is the top bidder for Enugu Disco with a proposed average technical, commercial and collection (ATC&C) loss reduction of 20.83 percent. For the Abuja Disco, Interstate Electrics Limited emerged the top bidder as it proposed a 21.62 percent ATC&C loss reduction. The ATC&C loss reduction plan is the ability of an investor to reduce the level of loss in order to be able to run the business well and subsequently reduce the tariff in the next five years.

This week's bid opening is part of the Nigerian government's plan, announced in 2010 by President Goodluck Jonathan, to unbundle the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and sell it off as 11 distribution and six generation companies. The DISCOs are responsible for delivering electricity to end-users and collecting payment.

President Jonathan has promised a tenfold increase in electricity by 2020. The sale of the ten Discos to the successful bidders is expected to net the Federal Government a sum of N197.25 billion ($1.25 billion USD).

The Chrome Group, founded in 1994 by Sir Emeka Offor, is one of Nigeria's leading indigenous multinational businesses with subsidiaries operating in oil and gas exploration and production, oil and gas servicing, engineering, insurance, logistics and power industries.

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Val Oji
Chrome Group
Chief Communications Officer
+234 803 719 0145