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December target for 6,000MW shaky…. Minister

…sector to gulp N83.3bn in 2010

By Oscarline Onwuemenyi

ABUJA — With 56 days to the deadline for the achievement of 6,000 megawatts of electricity, the Federal Government, yesterday, disclosed that only about 3,000MW of power supply was currently being enjoyed in the country.

Minister of Power, Dr. Lanre Babalola, who made this disclosure during the 2009 ministerial press briefing by the ministry in Abuja, noted, however, that efforts were still in full gear towards achieving the target before the end of year deadline.

He explained that the ministry had developed and adopted a strategic implementation plan in order to meet the December 2009 deadline, including optimizing the existing capacity within the host PHCN power plants through an aggressive repair and rehabilitation exercise.

He added: “The ministry plans to reinforce and expand the transmission and distribution network as well as working with the Ministry of Petroleum and the NNPC to ensure accelerated implementation of the gas to power plan, which is part of the National Gas Master Plan, and resolving any commercial issues alongside the physical delivery of gas to power.”

He noted that to date, over 70 contracts had been approved for award by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and the Ministerial Tenders Board (MTB) to reinforce and expand the national grid.

According to him, only 3,984.4MW generation capability was available as at January 2009, from an installed capacity of 8,634MW, saying: “Actual generation was frequently constrained to below 2,300MW as a result of inadequate gas and low water levels.”

However, he said current installed available generation capacity as at October 26, 2009, was 4,838.6MW with gas-fired plants contributing about 74 per cent and the balance from hydro power plants.

Babalola further noted that a total of 718MW of additional capacity from the Sapele, Delta and Afam (I-V) power plants was expected to make up the set target of 6,000MW.

“From an in-house rehabilitation exercise undertaken by PHCN, it was able to recover 582.4MW, which makes up the total available capacity of 5,522MW.
The minister said in above mix, the independent power producers, including Shell, Agip and AES, accounted for 24 per cent of the available generation capacity.

He said: “In February 2009, funds were disbursed for the re-mobilisation and fast-tracking of selected NIPP projects for completion. It is anticipated that NIPP projects with a total installed capacity of over 4,500MW will contribute to the set target of 10,000MW to be achieved by the end of 2011.”

Babalola observed that current transmission capability at 330KV was 6,848MVA and at 132KV is 8,275MVA, which denotes a capability to wheel about 5,400 megawatts of power.


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