By Chris Ochayi
The Niger Delta Power Holding Company, NDPHC, has signed a framework agreement with the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) to deliver additional 250MW from stranded power to the customer within the franchise area.
Managing Director, of NDPHC Mr. Chiedu Ugbo, while speaking at the signing ceremony in Lagos, said the agreement took immediate effect.
Some of the initial project areas are: Benin Bypass (industrial cluster near NDPHC’s power plant at Ihovbor, Benin-City, Edo State; Asaba, Delta State, Ondo South Senatorial District, Ondo State and interventions in Ekiti State.
He recalled that the two companies had in 2020, commenced exploring options to collaborate to deliver safe and reliable power to customers of the BEDC’s franchise area.
According to him, “today, we are glad that we gather here for the purpose of signing a framework agreement for this collaboration.”
“For NDPHC, the project will enable us to deliver more 250mw of power to customers of BEDC’s franchise areas in Edo, Delta, Ondo, and neighbouring states”.
“For BEDC, the project will help BEDC to satisfy its customers with reliable power and achieve an enhancement of its network and infrastructure”.
He added that for BEDC’s customers, their homes and industries can now enjoy 24 hours power supply.
Ugbo said for BEDC’s investors and NDPHC shareholders – trustees of Nigerian people- this project will deliver significant value.
He noted that the NDPHC has been concerned about the “insufficient dispatch of its power generation capacity, as well as liquidity challenges which means that only a small proportion of the power dispatched gets paid for. Meanwhile, many consumers remain unserved or underserved”.
Earlier, the NDPHC boss explained that the journey to the agreement started with initiation of the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2004 as a government funded initiative to stabilize the country’s power sector.
He said as a result of this, the government incorporated NDPHC as a limited liability company to serve as a legal vehicle to hold the NIPP for its states and local governments.
Since then, said Ugbo, Nigeria electricity supply Industry has evolved significantly from the construction of NDPHC’s 10 power plants with combined capacity of over 5,000mw, of which more than 4,000Mw has been completed, to the privatization transactions from which BEDC emerged as one of the 11 distribution companies in Nigeria.
The evolution, according to him, has presented the industry players, including NDPHC and BEDC, with unique challenges.
He said for the distribution firms, the significant capital investments required to upgrade their respective networks has been difficult to raise due to industry challenges.
Meanwhile, the BEDC, Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Funke Osibodu, said her company aims at delivering incremental power from the NDPHC underutilized or stranded capacity to several industrial and commercial hubs through multiple solutions across the certain locations in Delta, Edo, Ondo and Ekiti for electricity value chain.
She said under the agreement, BEDC and NDPHC will provide end-to-end power solutions across the value chain to deliver minimum of 250mw of additional power.
Osibodu said the collaboration will see the BEDC partner with NDPHC and others to identify and prioritize critical projects to increase power supply whilst improving on technical and commercial environment.
She noted that the “focus will be power supply to certain areas as well as upgrading of all critical distribution infrastructure”.