Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited (NDPHC) has said about $1.2 billion has been spent so far to boost its distribution network in the power sector.
Speaking at the 8th Nigeria Energy Forum in Lagos, NDPHC Executive Director, Networks, Ifeoluwa Oyedele, noted that over 374 projects in the power distribution space of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) had been executed.
Ifeoluwa, who spoke on the theme: ‘Maximising National Integrated Power Projects’, noted that the benefiting electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) were expected to refund the NDPHC, stressing that the projects had been handed over to the utilities.
On transmission, the executive director disclosed that the company had also undertaken over 121 transmission lines and substation projects, while expansion works were carried out in 34 Transmission Company if Nigeria (TCN) substations across the country.
“These accomplishments led to a complete transformation of the hitherto radial Nigerian grid into what it is today: a substantially looped grid that provides substantial redundancy to power flow around the grid. This was completely unavailable prior to NIPP,” he said.
The National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) was initiated in 2005 in response to the deplorable state of the power infrastructure in Nigeria and the inappropriate framework for private sector investment.
It mainly gets its funding from the Excess Crude Savings Account, with capital funding to the tune of $8.46 billion since inception.
On power generation, the NDPHC stated that total planned capacity remains at approximately 5,000 MW, with an estimated 4,000mw already completed.
According to Oyedele, seven gas pipelines and metering stations projects had been concluded and were waiting to be transferred to the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC).
He disclosed that 20,000 Solar Homes Systems (SHS) were deployed in the first phase of its renewable energy programme explaining that in the phase two, 100, 000 SHS would be distributed to 12,000 off-grid rural communities.
“NDPHC has installed capacity of about 4000MW which are mostly available, except for maintenance outage, but is dispatched at about 700MW on average by the System Operator(SO) for reasons ascribed to load rejection by Discos,” the NDPHC added.
On key lessons learnt in the sustainability of national energy infrastructure projects, he listed way leave issues and right of way acquisition for transmission lines and project management structure and use of project and design consultants as some of them.
In addition Oyedele mentioned the adequacy of financial oversight of offshore project funds drawdown by EPC contractors and overconcentration of too many projects with an EPC contractor as some of the things that needed improvement
He disclosed that inadequate dispatch grossly affects NDPHCs revenue generation capacity as well as irregular dispatch (Disco load rejection), System Operator’s frequent start up and shut down instructions of the units for reasons also ascribed to load rejection issues, causing increased maintenance cost of the units.
Besides, he stated that three power plants on the eastern axis of the Niger Delta have full gas but constrained by dispatch challenges.
“Five power plants on the Western axis of the Niger Delta have major insufficient gas supply. As at today, gas requirement is 560 mmscf/day while 60 mmscf/day is available,” he noted.
Furthermore, Oyedele said that low revenue generation due to poor dispatch, low remittance from the market and high maintenance cost due to frequent shut down and start up instructions by the system operator remain some of the issues being dealt with by the NDPHC.
He also listed shortage of spares due to paucity of funds to stock spares, inability to execute gas contract with Take or Pay (ToP)/security and constraints in the execution of transmission and distribution projects as some of the challenges the NDPHC faces.