By Kingsley Okoye
The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has commissioned 20×60 MVA 132/33KV transmission sub-station in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to boost electricity supply to residents.
The Managing Director of AEDC, Mr Ernest Mupwaya, said at the launch in Abuja on Monday that the substation was conceived to meet anticipated increase in the electricity needs of FCT residents.
The substation now adds additional 120MW wheeling capacity to the FCT distribution networks against the previous 96MW.
The initial engineering procurement and construction contract for the substation was awarded to North China Power Engineering Company (NCPEC) in 2006.
The total cost of the project based on the current exchange rate is N1.1 billion but due to the slow progress of work at the substation, the contract to NCPEC was revoked in 2010.
In 2011, News Engineering Nigeria Ltd., an indigenous company, became the preferred bidder and was re-awarded the contract for the erection and commissioning of the 2x60MVA 132/33KV substation at Kukwaba and the 2x132KV Line bays extension at Katampe substation at a revised contract cost of about N350 million.
To this end, Mupwaya said that completion of the Kukwaba 2x60Mva/132/33KV substation was a significant milestone that would facilitate improvement in the quality and quantum of electricity supply to customers.
He said that the substation would relieve many overloaded transformers and distribution lines in the FCT.
According to him, the immediate environment of Lugbe will now be supplied electricity directly from the Kukwaba transmission substation instead of the Katampe substation.
He said that the customers would begin to experience improved supply of electricity, increased reduction in load shedding, increased regulated voltage and near regular power supply.
Mupwaya said that the majority of customers in Maitama, Wuse II, Gwarinpa, Life Camp, Mabushi and Mpape would also benefit from the substation.
He assured customers that AEDC’s power supply improvement programmes were fully aligned to its overall strategic goal to achieve sustainable, reliable and affordable power supply in its franchise areas.
According to him, AEDC has improved quality of supply through the restoration of the protection system in 39 substations, and the effective maintenance of the entire 4,048 sub-stations in its franchise area.
“We have provided flexible e-payment solutions to our customers, including five online vending platforms.“
The AEDC boss said that the company had also commenced customer enumeration in FCT in second quarter of 2016, with a focus of completing the exercise in 2018 across its entire franchise area.
Mupwaya also said that AEDC had begun its mass metering of Small Power Users (SPU) in December 2016, adding that close to 90,000 customers have been metered.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said that the completion of the substation was a further evidence of Federal Government’s commitment to improving electricity wheeling capacity .
Fashola, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry , Mr Louis Edozie, said that the ministry was focused on a number of policy directives to address the challenges in the sector.
He said that the ministry was committed to working closely with the distribution companies to improve and invest in distribution infrastructure, to ensure that their customers were well served.
“All the policies are aimed at re-dedicating all our works to the customers because the customers should be first in everything.
“The next port of call is the customers service centres; we must all emphasise to Nigerians that this is the current configuration of customers service in the industry.
“The second focus of customers service is on metering; it is an issue that agitates the mind of Nigerians who wish to pay only for what they consume.“
Other key policies of government designed to satisfy the electricity customers, according to the minster, include three important policy initiatives that are key in keeping the customer at the focal point of our work.
“The first one is the independent electricity distribution network regulation that is already in place; the second one is the mini grid regulation that Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) will launch soon.
“The third is the policy directive with regard to eligible customers, which is aimed at ensuring that customers, who want premium service and are prepared to pay for it are given a window to do so.“
Fashola also said that government had approved and begun the payment of N701 billion electricity support fund for the sector operators through Nigeria Buck Electricity Trading Company (NBET)
He said that payment for January and February had been processed, while payment for March was still undergoing administrative procedures with the relevant authorities.(NAN)