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How liquidity, debt, vandalism, others affect power supply

By Udeme Akpan

THERE are indications that many problems, including liquidity, vandalism and huge debt have constrained operators from supplying adequate power to Nigerians. Mr. Chiedu Ugbo, managing mirector of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, NDPHC, who put the indebtedness to his company alone at N105 billion said these and others have constrained it from making more impact in the sector.

In his recent presentation in Abuja obtained by Vanguard, Ugbo said, “NDPHC is experiencing some challenges, including liquidity limitation in the sector with market debt profile owed the company at over N105billion as at last invoice, low pace of work by some contractors resulting in re-assignment of some projects and vandalism of completed projects and transmission lines.

Power

“Failure of DISCOs to provide Distribution Substation Operators (DSOs) to man completed substations as well as their failure to take over some completed injection substation and lackadaisical attitude of DISCOs to service customers from the Completely Self Protected (CSP) transformers, hence failure to utilise already handed-over High Voltage Distribution System, amongst others.” Despite the challenges, Ugbo indicated that the NDPHC has executed 120 National Integrated Power Projects, NIPP targeted at boosting power supply in different parts of Nigeria.

Ugbo, explained that these included 1,635 Km of 330kV Double Circuit lines, 720Km of 132kV Double Circuit lines, 10 new 330kV substations, seven new 132kV substations, 6,150MVA of 330/132kV transformer capacity, 2,800MVA of 132/33kV transformation capacity and the expansion of 36, TCN 330kV and 132kV substations. He indicated that most of these projects have been completed and many are already in service.

Ugbo disclosed that the few remaining ones are at advance stages of completion, adding that preparations were underway to commission the 330/132/33KV Ikot-Ekpene switching station in the second week of November 2016. He said that the switching station, will from its location in Akwa-Ibom State enable the evacuation of over 2,000MW of electricity from Calabar, Alaoji, Afam and the Ikot Abasi/Eket sectors in the Eastern flank of the national grid.

Ugbo noted that at the distribution voltage level, NDPHC has added 1,712 Km of 33kV lines, 4,540KM of 11kV lines, 24,996 completely Self-Protected (CSP) distribution transformers, 3,970MVA injection substations capacity and 1,212MVA CSP Transformers (distribution) capacity in the network.

He pointed out that in order to ensure inadequate gas infrastructure does not affect fuel supply to the power plants, NDPHC inititated and constructed seven gas conditioning and metering facilities alongside several kilometers of pipelines to facilitate gas delivery to these plants.

Ugbo said, “Out of these, only the Egbema gas metering station is yet to be delivered, currently constructed to over 85 per cent, awaiting gas for commissioning activities. Most of the completed facilities have been handed over to the Nigerian Gas Company who are the statutory body to manage the gas facilities.

Several intervention projects in both transmission and distribution chain of the power industry were also completed and added to the network by NDPHC across the nation. The TCN intervention projects include the upgrade and Turn-In-Turn-Out of the Ajah/Lekki/Alagbon from 132kV to 330kV DC Line. This has been completed and energised.

“The Turn-in/Turn-out of the 3rd Benin/Onitsha 330kV Single Circuit transmission line at Asaba, completed and energized; the Installation of 75MVAR Shunt Reactor at the Gwagwalada 330/132/33kV substation which has its procurement process initiated as well as completion of the TCN 2x60MVA, 132/33kV Kukwaba substation which is on-going and currently about 85 per cent completed.

“The distribution intervention projects include some 544Km of 33kV Lines, 130Km of 11kV Lines, some 199no distribution transformers (100KVA, 200KVA, 300KVA, 500 KVA), 148MVA injection substation capacity added and 108MVA distribution transformers capacity added. The privatisation of the ten generating power plants is still on course.

The three power stations of Calabar, Geregu and Omotosho are being concluded as a first phase. Specifically, this process will continue with the conclusion of the rest of the plants slated, noting that preferred bidders for these plants have already emerged for 80 per cent share sales.

“All these strategies are designed to enable the management complete all the on-going projects under the current NIPP phase, thus delivering power to Nigerians. In a similar vein, management plan the completion of Gbarain power station by firing the second unit to bring available capacity to 225MW as well as completion of Alaoji Combined Cycle Phase. This will bring additional capacity of 270MW with one block steam Cycle.”


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