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How 8 NIPP plants scaled up power by 4,000MW

  • Sep 4, 2019 8:47 pm GMT
Daily Trust

Nigeria has added a generation capacity of 4,025 megawatts (MW) through the construction and operation of eight power plants on the national grid. Data obtained from the Federal Ministry of Power indicate that generation capacity is over 7,500MW, transmission is at 8,100MW and distribution at over 5,500MW.

Among the 29 power plants which operated as at Monday, eight of them were constructed by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) under the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) along with 21,336 transmission and distribution substations.

NDPHC was established in 2005 with a target of 5,000MW power generation capacity. It is operated by an equity share of the Federal Government, states and local governments.

At the recent commissioning of a 2x60MVA, 132/33kV substation and its 132kV transmission line in Abeokuta, Ogun State, the managing director of NDPHC, Mr Chiedu Ugbo, said as at May 2019, the firm had 'a generation installed capacity of 4,025MW from eight power plants presently connected to the national grid.'

NDPHC has also delivered key gas projects in six lots in four years. While five of these seven projects have been completed in Delta, Abia, Kogi and Edo states; two gas pipelines for Baylesa/Imo, and Cross River/Akwa Ibom are at 90 percent completion level.

Project documents obtained from NDPHC also revealed the 4,025MW NIPP GenCos to include: 750MW Olorunsogo II (Ogun), 450MW Ogorode (Delta), 434MW Geregu II (Kogi), 450MW Omotosho II (Ondo), and 450MW Ihovbor (Edo). The rest are 450MW Alaoji (Abia), 563MW Calabar (Cross River) and the 225MW Gbarain (Bayelsa).

Two others are being completed. They are 225MW Omoku (Rivers) and 338MW Egbema plant (Imo). The phase II of Alaoji NIPP now underway will add another 530MW with a combined capacity of 1,774MW capacity.

In the transmission segment, NDPHC said it has completed 2,194 kilometres of 330 kilovolt (kV) lines and 887km of 132kV lines. It has also completed 10 units of 330/132kV substations and seven 132/33kV substations. With these, its total power transmission capacity is 5,590MVA and 3,493MVA at both 330kV and 132kV levels.

One of the critical NIPP transmission projects is the 330kV Ikot Ekpene transmission backbone and switching hub that radiates power from southern-based GenCos to Jos through Ugwuaji (Enugu) and Makurdi (Benue). It was commissioned in November 2016 and has transformed the transmission grid from a radial and vulnerable grid that existed since 1969 to a more secured and reliable loop grid security.

Since May 2015, the firm has delivered 30 transmission projects across 10 states. Enugu has six transmission projects; Edo and Ogun have five of these facilities. Delta, Akwa Ibom and Lagos have three projects each; Benue, Kogi, Ebonyi, and Cross River have one each, our analysis shows.

'NDPHC's contribution to overall transmission system growth and reliability with improvements in transmission capacity is progressively increasing each day as the balance of NIPP projects are being delivered,' Mr Ugbo noted.

The firm has also commissioned over 350 injection substations for the Distribution Companies (DisCos) with 3,540MW capacity for improving access to electricity. It further enhanced the power distribution reliability by installing 25,900 Completely Self-Protected (CSP) transformers to reduce technical losses. The firm increased 33/0.415kV and 11/0.415kV capacity by 26 per cent, as it targets 163 per cent on completing more projects.

From 2015 to 2019, NDPHC delivered 104 intervention projects that include 719km of 33kV and 160km of 11kV distribution lines; 250 units of transformers with 125MVA capacity, and 185MVA capacity injection substations across the 11 DisCos' franchise areas.

Analysis of 72 of these projects commissioned between September 2015 and May 2019 puts the spread across 26 states. Delta has eight; Lagos, Ogun and Ondo have five projects each; Katsina and Kogi four each; Kebbi, Zamfara, Anambra, and Sokoto states three each; Borno, Yobe, Osun, Bauchi, Plateau, and Cross River two projects each. The 10 other states got one project each.

…battles with challenges

In spite of these achievements, documents obtained from the NDPHC revealed some challenges that could hinder these projects from fully transforming the power supply experience of Nigerians.

Of concern is the low energy evacuation from the eight operational NIPP plants by the Independent System Operator (ISO). Although the eight NIPP plants NDPHC boasts of 4,025MW, the dispatch to the DisCos from the grid has never exceeded 1,000MW, records show.

'Apart from December 2018 and January 2019 that the dispatch reached about 900MW and 1,000MW, it has since been around 500MW,' an official said.

The plants got 80% monthly payment for their generated energy until that stopped early 2019 after the N701 billion Payment Guarantee Fund by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) ended.

The fund added 50% payment to the average 30% paid by DisCos monthly then. GenCos presently struggle with just 35% DisCos' payment. Thus the potential for recouping investments in the NIPPs at present remains bleak.

Beside these economic hurdles, NDPHC said its equipment are vandalized, especially at injection substations and control rooms. NDPHC also said, 'There is lack of cooperation from DisCos in spite of handing over these projects to them on completion, which will enhance their capacities to supply electricity to Nigerians.'

It also mentioned vehicular accidents that damage power lines, state of insecurity in parts of the country and community rights' issues.

'Due to communities' rights issues, it is becoming increasingly difficult to acquire right-of-way for new lines,' NPHC said.

NDPHC's outlook for sector solutions

With the completion of critical projects in transmission and gas, NDPHC said new challenges emerged. TCN has simulated a wheeling capacity of about 8,100MW but the load absorption capacity of the 11 DisCos is only about 70 per cent of the TCN wheeling capacity.

The company however said it saw these new challenges as immediate opportunities for growth. 'NDPHC will continue as part of its medium-to long-term vision, to play a role in the end-to-end infrastructure development in the Nigerian power sector,' it said.

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