Fed Govt raises installed power generation capacity to 13,427Mw, says VP

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• To add 660Mw before year-end

by Emeka Ugwuanyi

The Federal Government has increased installed power generation capacity to 13,427 megawatts (Mw), Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said.

He said additional 660Mw is expected from some power plants before the end of this year.

Osinbajo spoke on Thursday at the inauguration of the two 60MVA, 132/33kv substation and associated 132kv transmission lines at Abeokuta, Ogun State.

He said the inauguration was an important part of Federal Government’s effort to improve the supply and quality of power to homes and businesses in Nigeria, adding that in the past three years, resolving the power problem has been a top priority for the government.

Giving an update on the state of the power sector, Osinbajo said: “Currently we have about 13,427Mw of installed capacity, while available capacity is about 8,342Mw. This was achieved by the efforts our government and its private sector partners in rehabilitation and commissioning of turbines in Shiroro and Egbin power stations as well as Delta Power, Sapele and Gbarain power stations.

“Before the end of this year, new generation is expected from these power stations:  Gbarain, an extra 115Mw, Kashimbila 40Mw, Afam V 240Mw, Gurara 30Mw, Dadinkowa 20Mw and Kaduna 215Mw.”

He also noted that in the long term, several solar power plants will come on stream. The national grid already has a transmission capacity of 7000Mw, an increase from about 5000Mw. This is due to the completion of several transmission projects. On the contrary, he noted that the distribution capacity of the 11 distribution companies (DisCos) is significantly low hovering around an average of 4000Mw. This low capacity has limited the capacity to deliver power to end-users despite the substantial generation and transmission capacities. DisCos provide distribution assets and metering to consumers. We are resolving this issue through the Meter Asset Providers and expect the initiative will close the metering gap of 5.3 million customers, he added.

The Vice President noted the efforts to expand the grid and the call to recapitalise the DisCos, among others. He stated that despite the efforts of the government and what has been done, the evidence and structure of the market today cannot deliver on government’s promises for power for domestic and industrial use. As a result of this, a substantial change of strategy is necessary. There is a need for a change of strategy, what we have done in the past has taken us to a point but there is a need for a change of strategy, he added.

He said: “At the heart of that strategy is the recapitalisation of the DisCos first. We have to come up with more resources in one way or the other. Part of that recapitalisation process is in the Siemens’ phased electrification roadmap, which was commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari recently. The whole idea of the roadmap is to deploy financing and technology on commercial terms agreed with transmission and distribution companies in partnership with the German Government and Siemens to increase transmission and distribution capacities to enable power delivery of at least 7000Mw to consumers.

“In phase two, to eliminate all the bottlenecks in transmission and distribution to enable full utilization of existing generation of power to deliver at least 11000Mw to consumers, and in phase three, to upgrade and expand generation, transmission and distribution for end-to-end power delivery of 25,000Mw.”

The Chief Executive Officer of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), Mr Chiedu Ugbo, the newly inaugurated projects will provide reliable power off-take to Abeokuta and its environs.

He listed NDPHC’s contributions to the power sector, adding the company has installed close to 4000Mw, 20,000 solar home systems (SHS) and accounts for 37 per cent of generation to the grid. He noted that with the new project, power supply to Abeokuta and environs will increase from 70Mw to 250Mw.

The Managing Director, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mr Usman Gur Mohammed, said the sum of $1.66 billion had been secured from the World Bank and other multilateral financing agencies to improve the transmission network.  He also called for capitalization of the DisCos, which will require $4.3 billion to make them (DisCos) efficient and be able to take available generated power and the 8100Mw transmission capacity currently. He listed the achievements of the TCN under his watch, including retrieval of 775 containers of transmission equipment abandoned at the ports over the years.

Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun expressed delight about the project highlighting the gains it will bring to businesses, industries and homes in Ogun State. He reiterated his government’s commitment to focused and transparent governance, creating an environment for businesses and investments to thrive and his plans for the state’s development.