NDPHC Cancels Rockson Engineering’s Transmission Project Contract

Only maximum demand consumers are exempted from
estimated billing, says NERC
Chineme Okafor in Abuja

The Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) Limited has stripped one of its contractors, Rockson Engineering, of the contract for the construction of a critical power transmission line in the eastern electricity supply loop, citing repeated failure by the firm to fulfill the terms of its engagement for the job.

According to a status report on NDPHC’s transmission projects which its Managing Director, Mr. Chiedu Ugbo, presented at the 16th edition of the monthly power sector operators’ meeting which was held at one of NDPHC’s transmission stations in Ugwuaji, Enugu State, the contract for the construction of 330kV double circuit transmission line from Ihiala to Nnewi, both in Anambra State was retrieved from Rockson and subsequently handed over to another company named North China Power to now execute.

The report was obtained by THISDAY on Tuesday in Abuja
Although Rockson has been one of NDPHC’s major Engineering, Procurements, and Construction (EPC) contractors, having been engaged by it for the construction of its Egbema; Alaoji; Gbarain Ubie; and Omoku gas power plants, as well as several transmission projects under the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) framework, the firm has however reportedly failed to meet its project delivery timelines.

In most cases, reports alleged that it had relied heavily on political influences to keep its contracts with the NDPHC, a development insiders in the NDPHC and ministry of power said had affected the delivery of some of the NIPP projects.

Ugbo however said in the status report on the construction of the 330kV double circuit transmission line from Ihiala sub-station to Nnewi, that: “This project was originally contracted to Rockson Engineering. Works sub-contracted to North China Power due to Rockson’s inability to perform.

“The project was hitherto delayed by Rockson Engineering’s failure to provide the procured materials to North China. Work has now recommenced on the project,” he added.
He also informed that works on another critical transmission project, the 65-kilometre 330 double circuit transmission line from Afam to Ikot Ekpene, would be completed on time for its planned commissioning in August.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has clarified that its recent order barring the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) in the country from billing electricity consumers in the country without meters was only applicable to maximum demand consumers and not residential consumers.

NERC said in a statement from its Assistant General Manager, Media, Vivian Mbonu, that the order affected only electricity customers within the consumption threshold of 45kVA and above.
It explained that for non-maximum demand and unmetered customers on the Discos’ networks, they (Discos) have been notified to adhere strictly to its approved estimation methodology which it said was the ‘Estimated Billing Methodology Regulation’.

The regulatory agency also advised electricity customers to make the most of its redress mechanism in instances of contested electricity bills before seeking further legal advice.

“The underlying rationale to this directive is the effect that since this category of customers have been completely metered as directed by the commission and reported by the Discos, no maximum demand customer should be issued with estimated bills,” NERC explained.

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