*Insists Discos still reject completed distribution assets built for them
Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Niger Delta Power Holding Company Ltd (NDPHC) on Tuesday said it has stepped up its intervention programme to upgrade the electricity distribution capacities of the 11 electricity distribution companies (Discos) in the country.
NDPHC said within the programme, it has continued to build and transfer new distribution substations to the Discos to enable them take more electricity to consumers within their distribution networks.
Its Managing Director, Mr. Chiedu Ugbo, explained during the commissioning of a 1Ã—15MVA, 33/11kv injection substation the company built and handed over to Kaduna Disco at the cost of N300 million, that more distribution assets were being built by it across the country.
Ugbo however lamented that some Discos have continued to refuse to take over the distribution assets built for them, with some of them giving excuses that they were not built within their preferred locations.
â€œWe have around 100 ongoing intervention projects in the power sector and we have also completed many of them. Last month, we inaugurated two projects in Lagos which are similar to this one in Kaduna that has been completed and commissioned for use. We shall also inaugurate another project in Jaji, here in Kaduna State.
â€œStill under the Kaduna Disco franchise area, we have Gagi and Tambuwal both in Sokoto and the two of them are ready for inauguration. We have projects in Zamfara, Plateau, Abia and virtually in every state in Nigeria and we are working on them. Many of them are between 80 and 95 per cent completion and pushing to complete them as soon as possible,â€ said Ugbo.
He said on the average, each of the distribution substations completed by the company can take about 15 megawatts (MW) of electricity for distribution to consumers.
Speaking on how much it cost NDPHC to build the Kaduna substation, he said: â€œA substation like this will cost somewhere around N300 million.
â€œWe have several substations like this and Discos have not taken them for so many reasons, especially when it has to do with difficulty to operationalise the stations, particularly when they are in remote areas and villages. They believe it does not make economic sense to take over stations in such areas.â€
â€œWe deliberated on this in the power sector meeting. The minister and the regulator, we are working to see how this challenge will be resolved. We have quite a number of these substations and I canâ€™t tell you the actual figure now,â€ he added.
On the impact the Kaduna substation would have on consumers within its service area, Ugbo said: â€œI understand that before we completed this project, residents of this area and surrounding environs that are being served by this station were getting three hours of electricity, but with this project now, Iâ€™m told that power supply in this region has increased to between 15 to 18 hours daily.â€
â€œThe project was conceived and built by NDPHC to address the acute power supply to Angwan Dosa and its environs. It is a 1Ã—15MVA,33/11kv injection substation complete with 4.6 kilometres of 33kV overhead line from Mando transmission substation and 8 kilometres of 11kV overhead line and 60 numbers Completely Self Protected (CSP) distribution transformers.
â€œThere are two feeders radiating from the substation, a legislative feeders feeding legislative quarters and Angwan Dosa area with a peak load which is equivalent to 6.4MVA. Rafin Gusa feeders, serving Rafin Gusa area, Hayin Kogi and some parts of Kawo areas with a peak load which is equivalent to 6.5MVA,â€ he noted.
According to him, the substation would also supply electricity to the 1st Mechanise Army Division Kaduna, Kaduna State legislative quarters, 45 schools, 30 shopping complexes, 10 hospitals and 23 welders, amongst others.