By ABAH ADAH, Abuja
The Managing Director, Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), Engr Chiedu Ugbo has stated that the agency is working in collaboration with other stakeholders in the power sector to ensure that the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) has a distribution system capable of taking all the over 7, 000 mega watts of electricity currently being generated to consumers in 2018.
The NDPHC boss who was speaking to journalists at the end of the 22nd meeting of the power sector stakeholders hosted by Geregu Power Plant in Kogi State and chaired by the Hon. Minister of Power, Works and Housing, said the greatest challenge of the industry at present is how to ensure that the distribution sub-sector becomes infrastructurally upgraded and capable of clearing virtually all that is generated, thus colloborating the minister’s earlier remark that the major problem now is the capacity to locate and deliver all generated power to consumers in need.
Engr Ugbo hinted that Geregu power plant is made up of three units with an installed generation capacity of 450 mega watts, of which two are currently running as permitted due to gas and distribution constraints, adding that what can be fire at any time depends on the demand or load from the DisCos.
“You can’t fire the units at full capacity if they are not picking load. You have to either ramp down or shut down some unit to ensure equilibrium. So the problem is not with TCN or GenCos; it is the under-demand for what is generated for distribution.
“The quantity of gas one gets determines how much you can fire. So we now do between 170 to 200mw depending on whether it is peak or off-peak period.
“And that is the focus of the meeting here today. NDPHC as an intervention agency of the government, and the other stakeholders are focusing on the DisCos’ ability to take the load. As I speak we have seven distribution projects in Kogi State here which we hope will be completed and commissioned latest by the end of the first quarter of next year. This is aimed at helping the DisCos to get the generated power to consumers, and that is what is important’, Ugbo explained.
The communique issued at the end of the meeting identified projects which Kogi State is directly benefitting from NDPHC’s drive to improve distribution infrastructure in Okene, Idah, Confluence Beach, Ankpa, Felele, Ohunene, and Ayingba areas of the state.
It also reiterated the minister’s statement in his opening remark that efforts are on to add a total of 1, 129mw of power to the grid in 2018 from the following plants: Azura (450MW), Katsina Wind Farm (10MW), Gbarain (115MW), Gurara (30 mw), Dadin-Kowa (29MW), Kaduna (215MW), and Kashimbilla (40MW) which will require significant upgrades in distribution to reach customers, excluding the mini-grids and solar home systems , all off-grid, that will come onstream.
In that communique, NDPHC noted that construction on Okija and Omotosho community connection project is complete and is awaiting energization by December 31, 2017.
Speaking further, Engr Ugbo said, ” In 2018 we are looking at a Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) that can deliver to Nigerians the over 7, 000mw being generated currently.
“So we are looking at helping to bridge the 2, 000mw gap and course expand, and If possible, we should clear demand for the installed capacity of over 13, 000mw. So we very ambitious and working with the DisCos to ensure that distribution no longer constitute a bane to efficient and improved supply of electricity in the coming year.”