By Udeme Akpan
THE Niger-Delta Power Holding Company, NDPHC, has completed work on eight power plants, worth billions of naira, in order to increase electricity generation in Nigeria.
The plants, constructed under the Federal Government’s National Independent Power Project, NIPP, included the 750MW Olorunsogo 11, 450MW Sapele, 434MW Geregu 11, 450MW Omotosho 11, 450MW Ihovbor, 450MW Alaoji, 563MW Calabar and 225MW Gbarain.
In its review of operations in 2018, obtained by Vanguard, the company also stated: “The NDPHC has completed 2,194km of 330KV transmission lines and 809km of 132KV transmission lines; an increase of 46 per cent and 13 per cent respectively over the pre-NIPP status of grid infrastructure.
“It has further constructed a total of 2,600km of 11kv and 1,700km of 33kv distribution lines for improving access to electricity. It is true that there is heavy dependence on the NIPP plants in bringing electricity supply to Nigerians. In grid instability, NIPP plants provide about 265MW of spinning reserves to facilitate grid responsiveness during disturbances on the transmission network. Spinning reserve is practised all over the world. The NDPHC assets are the backbone of Nigeria’s power infrastructure. A transparent privatisation process for credible international investors will push the NIPP across the finishing line.”
Consequently, the company stated: “Nigeria’s power generation capacity has risen. So also has been a huge exponential growth in population and the demand for electricity supply. Merging these two has not been easy. But Nigeria’s power distribution system has been enhanced with hundreds of injection sub-stations, 11KV lines and 33KV lines added. Work is also in progress in many more transmission and distribution projects.
The massive construction of these power projects by the NDPHC has prevented the total collapse of electricity supply in Nigeria. Although a 100 per cent supply is yet to be attained, things have been stabilised while work on incremental power supply is ongoing. Achieving stable electricity supply from almost nothing is not a day’s work. It takes time and huge efforts, especially where economic sabotage of gas pipelines persist and transmission lines are being vandalised. When most of the NIPP projects are completed and are operational, power supply to Nigerians is expected to be better and drive the economy.”
The company listed the rehabilitation of 39 km Ore to Okitipupa 33 KV Line through Ode-Aye, Improvement of electricity supply to communities in Ilaje Local Government of Ondo State, improvement of electricity supply to Okitipupa and Ondo State University of Science and Technology, construction of dedicated 52kM 33kV line from Funtua TS to Malumfashi 1 x 7.5 MVA, 33 /11 kV Injection Substation and Upgrade of Power Supply to Daura Town, Upgrade of 1 X 7.5 MVA, 33/11 kV Injection Substation at Ile-Ife to 2 X 7.5 MVA, as some of its ongoing projects.
It stated: “One recurring snag with power supply in Nigeria is in the distribution chain. Despite the targeted increase in generation, if there is no efficient distribution to the end users in their homes and businesses, there will still be disappointment with all the efforts made. There has been huge improvement in gas supply to the built thermal power plants, adequate power is being generated and despite some challenges, the transmission network has improved. The most nagging point is power as distributed.”
It stated: “Power distribution companies should be able to take more than what the transmission gives out. This is to allow reduction of redundancies at the various levels and reduce losses while transmitting power from one location to another. The farther you travel with power, the more the quality and the efficiency of the power is reduced. Another problem with the distribution network has been poor town and urban planning which has made it difficult to regulate power distribution and downstream activities, thus overloading the grid.”
It stated: “Some other challenges that the NIPP has had to grapple with include security and community issues; right-of-way challenges for distribution equipment and transmission lines; port clearing, coordination hitches and contractor performance-related problems. Even though the three tiers of government own the NIPP, equipment imported for the power projects are often delayed or seized at the ports by the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, because of non-payment of import tariffs, thereby stalling the execution of some power projects.
“Sadly, some of the equipment at the ports were, at one time, auctioned by the port authorities after demurrage charges had accrued on them. It took the intervention of an alarmed Senate to recover some of the equipment sold off under questionable circumstance.”
The company stated: “To fast-track the attainment of stable electricity for Nigerians, the Federal Government should seriously consider waving duties on equipment for power projects. It needs to seriously educate contractors on their patriotic duty to deliver and on time. There is need for a special para-military unit to ruthlessly tackle the activities of vandals, and address the kidnap of the employees of the contractors.
“Host communities also need to be educated on the recurring problem of right-of-way for the routes for the 330kv and 132kv transmission lines of the NIPP. Once, when NDPHC diverted the transmission line to the Ihovnbor station in Edo State at a considerable cost because of the presence of a shrine, a new shrine emerged overnight on the new route and the villagers went on demanding a huge amount to relocate it. These kind of things can be best handed with proper enlightenment of the responsibilities of civic duties.
“Also, operatives of para-military agencies, especially men of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) should be adequately motivated and mobilized to protect power installations from vandals across the country. An existing asset protection mechanism for the safety of power generation/distribution equipment like pipelines and plants must be established with technologically advanced means applied.
“All three-tier arms of Nigeria’s government, government parastatals, the Ministry of Defence, those of trade and of oil and gas, the privately-owned Generating and Distribution Companies and, indeed all Nigerians, must join hands in true patriotism in confronting this multi-faceted problem and totally wipe out this embarrassing situation of inadequate electricity supply. Many Nigerians have made a living for decades from national dysfunction. Many have engaged and still do in pipeline bunkering. They have, in the past, fought against national pipelines protection.
“Those that make a living importing electric generators will never want to see the country enjoying uninterrupted power supply. And because these folks have made a lot of money from their activities and are powerful, more like armed militants, they need be handled delicately to minimize collateral damage.”
The company stated: “Other sources of power generation, coal, wind, solar, must also be aggressively pursued. The largest increase in the United States power generation comes from wind, increased by 168 billion KWH and solar by 18 billion at one particular time. Excluding nuclear power, Nigeria is rich in all these other resources.
“Nigeria is Africa’s most populated country and it is also the foundation of the West African economy. The coming of the NDPHC has helped Nigeria battle at solving her energy problems because modern day economy is driven by electricity supply.
“The vision of incremental energy, having not been faithfully pursued right from independence and oblivious of the exponential increase in population and socio-economy, it took the intervention of the NIPP to address fundamental issues. If the company is continually funded and given free rein and the needed political backing to implement its mission, then the issue of power outage in Nigeria will soon be a thing of the past.”
According to the company, “NDPHC was incorporated as a limited liability company to serve as the legal vehicle to hold the NIPP assets. In 2008, the National Economic Council (NEC) voted US$5.375 billion from the excess crude account as Power Emergency Fund (PEF) to complete the NIPP.”