Nigeria’s All Time High Electricity

AMADI

Sam Amadi

Electricity transmitted from the grid across Nigeria reached an all-time high of 4,545 megawatts last week as improvements in fuel supply to power generation plants buoyed power generation. CNBC Africa’s Wole Famurewa caught up with Sam Amadi, the CEO of the NERC on the improvement in the power sector and sustenance measures. 

Famurewa: Some Nigerians have begun to see improvements in power even though some have suggested that it may be a case of diverting that demand to residential areas during the holiday.

Has there been an increase to the 4,545 megawatts, which was earlier generated? Amadi: We have moved to 4,600 Megawatts before the holiday. The increase is not only because of the distribution of power, it is because more gas came into the plants.

The major problem stopping us from reaching 5000-6000 is gas availability including vandalism and also infrastructure problems with gas transport. We are working hard to ensure that we don’t slip down from this watermark and make sure that those local distribution constraints can be overcome quickly.

We are expecting an increase in gas supply and repair works, so we can clear the lines on what is holding back the Calabar plant, NIPP and AFAM and move more gas to fire those available plants to end the year much higher than we have now.

Famurewa: It is good news to hear that we are hitting an all-time high but how sustainable is this and how assured are we that this level will be sustained? Amadi: This level has to be sustained. The New Government has clearly shown a decent sense of discipline and control and this means there will be a containment of vandalism.

We can see better project management; we expect to see much traction in NNPC in either gas repair or infrastructure. TCN (Transmission Company of Nigeria) has not been doing very well but now, has to do well since the government has shown commitment to discipline and ensuring strict project delivery. NERC is holding a higher standard of scrutiny, monitoring and sanction, we ensure that there are no slippages and if there is, we will rally up quickly and ensure that we maintain the high level.

We will make sure that all available capacities are fully utilized and delivered to the grid and to customers. Famurewa: The capacity of the grid, as you mentioned is key to evacuating whatever is produced.

How much really can we transmit? What is the capacity of the TCN and is there any plan to increase that capacity in the short term? Amadi: Yes.

There have been issues about willing out power-Instead of 600 megawatts, we are getting about 60 or 40 megawatts. Those are the areas we are working hard to force them to do. But above all, sustainably, the key is new cooperate governance which is what we are emphasizing for TCN. We are asking that there will be less interference from the ministry so that TCN will be run like a regulated entity so we can monitor their short term plan project.

Well, before now, the capacity that TCN retailed has been 5,500 megawatts shots delivered, going to 6,000 depending on where the power plants are. We have scheduled a meeting with TCN system operators, the NIPP and the Niger Delta Power Holding Company to get rare updates on some of the transmission work that is critical.

One of them is the north; the Transmission Makurdi line which we are hoping will be ready by the end of July-August could help us carry additional 1000 megawatts to the north.

The north has been poorly served in terms of power distribution because of the weakness of the network. We expect that this month or next month, the NIPP lines in Ogoja, Calabar area would have been done so that we can evacuate about 400 megawatts more from the Calabar plant.

There have been issues about willing out power-Instead of 600 megawatts, we are getting about 60 or 40 megawatts. Those are the areas we are working hard to force them to do. But above all, sustainably, the key is new cooperate governance which is what we are emphasizing for TCN.

We are asking that there will be less interference from the ministry so that TCN will be run like a regulated entity so we can monitor their short term plan project.

We are also giving them a good tariff willing charge so that they will be able to attract private investment because the transmission company will not be fixed with public funds alone. It depends on private investment and those investors want to see clear paths to cost recovery and that’s what we are working on. Famurewa: Mr. Amadi, thank you for that update.

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