BPE extends timeline for privatising PHCN’s asset
The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has announced that the selection of the preferred bidders for the 17 successor companies for the privatisation of the nation’s power sector will be made on/or before October 23, 2012.
The BPE made this known in a statement on Monday where it stated that “according to the revised bid timeline issued to investors by the privatisation agency, the announcement of the preferred bidders for the 17 successor companies … will be made on/or before October 23, 2012.”
The agency further explained that part of the reason for the delay was the need to address concerns raised by power industry officials at a conference with the Nigerian government in November.
This is another setback in the timeframe for privatising the nation’s power assets ahead of the much anticipated reforms which investors hope will unlock the potential of the nation’s economy. The power infrastructure is expected to be split into three sections: generation, transmission and distribution.
The government plans to award a management contract for transmitting electricity from power plants to substations and privatise the bulk of six power generation plants and 11 distribution firms, which supply end users.
Manitoba Hydro of Canada and state-owned Power Grid of India are the two companies short-listed for the transmission management contract. It is estimated that the sector will need $10 billion a year of investment over the next decade to meet its energy needs.
Despite holding the world’s seventh biggest gas reserves, Nigeria generates only 4,000 Megawatts of electricity, limiting the potential of Africa’s second largest economy. The Minister of Power, Professor Bart Nnaji had last week announced that the nation’s power generation capacity will increase to 6,000 megawatts by the end of this year.
President Goodluck Jonathan unveiled power privatisation plans 18 months ago as a major flagship policy and pledged that state power generation and distribution assets would be sold off.
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