Sambo directs speedy transmission of generated power

Vice President, Architect Namadi Sambo has directed the Federal Ministry of Power to ensure speedy evacuation of power generated to ensure constant power supply.

The Vice President gave this directive, when he chaired the 24th Board meeting of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) overseeing the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP), at the State House, Abuja.

The Vice President expressed delight with the current generation capacity of over 4,200 megawatts of electricity, he however lamented the lack of integrity and associated problems of the transmission and distribution lines to evacuate the generated power.

Mr Sambo, noted that with the quantity being added to the national grid, Nigerians were experiencing improvement in power supply, and therefore directed the Ministry of Power and the NDPHC to ensure speedy completion of the transmission lines, and the injection substation for the delivery of constant and stable electricity to Nigerians.

He also directed that a meeting be convened to tackle the problem of gas supply to the power plants, which according to him was also militating against power supply.

In line with President Jonathan’s Performance Contract policy, the VP directed that the National Planning Commission to draw up a Performance Contract that will be signed between him and the Board of NDPHC.

He also directed the NDPHC to ensure that such Performance Contract trickles down and that all of its consultants sign the performance bond, which according to him would enhance service delivery.

4,200 megawatts

Earlier the Minister of State for Power, Arc. Darius Ishaku, disclosed that the country is currently generating more than 4,200 megawatts of electricity, saying that the transmission and distribution network has integrity issues, which is affecting the adequate evacuation of the generated power.

He assured the meeting that the Ministry was doing everything possible to arrest the issue.

The Managing Director of NDPHC, who was represented by the Executive Director Technical Services; Mr. Louis Edozien, disclosed that the NIPP projects in Sapele, Alaoji, Olorunsogo and Omotosho were currently generating 1,350mw.

He however, noted that they would have achieved more but for gas supply as he also gave the assurance that progress was being made to ensure early delivery of all NIPP projects in the country.

The board under the chairmanship of the Vice President approved the purchase of replacement parts for Gas Turbines for Calabar, Egbema and Gabarin power plants from General Electric, the original manufacturers.

The board also approved the engagement of fire-fighting management providers for Olorunsogo, Sapele, Alaoji, Omotosho and Ihovbor power plants and the provision of gas pipe line to Geregu Phase II, NIPP power plant were also approved.

While the extension of project consultancy work for construction of Omotosho Phase II power plant was as well approved by the board.


FG assures on improved power supply

The Federal Government says that the ongoing reform of the power sector is setting up structures that will bring about a sustained increase in the power going to the National grid.

The Minister for Power Professor Barth Nnaji said this while inspecting Ihovbor Power Plant, one of the National Integrated Power Projects sited in Benin City.

The Minister told journalist that the current decline in power supply across the Nation is as a result of the shortage of water supply to the hydro power plants owing to the drought in the Northern part of the continent.

He also conceded that most power plants are facing shortage of gas and the recent declaration of emergency in the gas sector by the Ministry of Petroleum is geared towards addressing the challenge.

He however said competent workers need not fear the ongoing privatisation of the power sector as the exercise will create more opportunities that will require the expertise they possess in their field.

Work commenced on the power plant in 2005 as part of measures improve Nigeria’s power supply.

Though the work at the main power plant is 99% complete the delay arises from the contractor handling the switch yard who is currently facing problems of compensation over a community shrine that is on the right of way of the cable line.

The Minister in a telephone interview got the contractor to commit that by the first week of June their own end of the contract will be ready. However in the meantime a 500Kva Generator will be provided to ensure the smooth running of work on the plant.

The completion of similar power plants in Omotosho and other parts of the country raised the issue of gas supply to these power plants, this the Minister said is currently being addressed.

With the removal of fuel subsidy and the protest that trailed the increase in fuel price still fresh in the minds of Nigerians reporters were eager to verify a rumored increase in electricity tariff across the Nation.

The Minister who also addressed the concerns of the labour unions on the privatisation ofr the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) said arrangements have been made to ensure that no worker is left without employment at the end of the privatisation exercise.

The Ihovbor Power Plant is expected to inject 450 Mega Watts of electricity into the National grid when completed probably sometime this year.