Electricity supply improves in Nigeria

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The
Federal Government has said it is making steady progress towards
achieving the target of the Roadmap it set last year for the power
sector.

Minister
of Finance, Olusegun Aganga, who presided over the meeting of the
Presidential Action Committee (PAC) on Power on behalf of President
Goodluck Jonathan, told reporters in Abuja that government effort so
far resulted in the supply of about 3,824 mega watts (MW) of
electricity last Monday, the highest level in recent times.

“We
(government) are making good progress in a number of areas, though we
want to do better. The highest level of electricity supply of 3,824 MW
was achieved last Monday. We had a very successful road show on the
privatization of the power sector, and we harvested an encouraging
number of expressions of interest for the companies on offer for sale.
We expect that most of them would be quality investors, who are willing
and committed to help the success of the road map,” he said.

The
minister said government is interested in partnering with companies
that possess not only the financial strength and technical competence,
but also those with the commitment to drive the business and deliver
electricity as quickly as possible, to make the power sector flourish.

“We
are working on a mechanism to gather direct feedback on specific areas
government needs to focus attention on to improve the situation,” he
said.

Impressive growth

Special
Adviser to the President on Power, Barth Nnaji, said the meeting
reviewed government’s effort to improve and stabilise power supply in
the country, pointing out that apart from generation, significant
improvements were recorded in the area of electricity transmission.

In
December 2010, he said electricity transmission capacity achieved 98
percent improvement of the target set under the Roadmap, from 5,155.2MW
at 330kV level and 6,676.8MW at 132kV level last July to 5,515.2MW and
7,328MW at 330kV and 132kV level respectively.

Since
last December, the adviser said two more 60MVA transformers have been
commissioned in Dakata and Port Harcourt municipality, with four more
billed for Ajaokuta, New Haven, Katsina and Birnin Kebbi to be
energised before the end of this month.

In
addition, he said 11 transformers with 60MVA 132/33kV capacity have
since arrived the country awaiting installation at various locations
nationwide, to help boost the electricity transmission capacity to the
100 percent target under the Roadmap.

According
to Mr Nnaji, “Before now, power supply was fluctuating between 2,000
and 3,000 MW. Today, we are making progressing. It would not be
possible for Nigerians to feel the impact, even when the supply rises
to 4,00MW, because the gap between demand and supply is quite huge. The
important thing is that government is doing what it needs to do to grow
power supply to an appreciable level where the people will begin to
feel the impact,” he said.

Holistic approach

He
said government is now looking at the development of the entire
infrastructure in a holistic manner, rather than focus only on
generation and transmission. Director General BPE, Bolanle Onagoruwa,
said about 331 expressions of Interest (EOI) were harvested from
prospective investors in the 11 distribution and six generating
companies, made up of 167 for distribution companies and 174 for
generating companies at the expiration of the deadline last Friday.

Though
the BPE boss said the EOIs are yet to be opened, she said the bureau
will finalize the evaluation criteria within the next one week, while
the evaluation process will begin immediately after.

She assured that investors are not likely to face gas supply
challenges, as all the power plants now being privatised already have
their sources of gas supply.


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