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N110bn debt: Total blackout looms as Egbin threatens shutdown

By Sebastine Obasi

LAGOS—Nigeria may soon face power crisis as the management of Egbin Power Plc has threatened to shut down operations due to non-settlement of N110 billion debt, inadequate gas supply and inefficiency in operations of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN.

Managing Director, Egbin Power Plc, Mr Dallas Peavey, said the country was heading towards another blackout next week as liquidity, transmission and gas supply issues threatened its operations.

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Peavey, who stated this during an interactive session with energy correspondents in Lagos, against the backdrop of a drop in generation, said Egbin Power plant was being forced to gradually shutdown due to adverse effect of grid instability which endangers its turbines.

He said:  “We owe the gas companies and have others like our technical partners (KEPCO) to pay, and importantly our lenders, the banks.

“We have made massive investments in making the plant readily available to generate electricity sustainably. Unfortunately, we can’t break even due to the gross inefficiency in the value chain.

“The government guarantees to pay us for every megawatt we generate and sell to Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading, NBET, but they have not done that.”

“We just got paid for the month of December, 2016, three months later and we were only paid a paltry 28 per cent of the total 100 percent of the verified and accepted invoice for that month. That is how the outstanding debts kept accumulating for three and half years now.”

He explained that these unbearable business operating circumstances and conditions would force the company to shut down any moment.

“That is the simple but bitter truth.  Let me be honest, if Egbin fails, it’s going to be dark as Egbin provides close to 30 percent of Nigeria’s power, so let the required intervention be completed and urgently too.

“Egbin power plant is one of the biggest single power generating stations in Africa, with an installed capacity of 1320 MW, consisting of 6 units of 220MW each.

“Following the conclusion of the government’s privatization exercise in November 2013, the consortium formed by the partnership between New Electricity Distribution Company and the Korean Electric Power Corporation (NEDC/KEPCO) acquired Egbin Power plc,‘’ Peavey said.

 

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