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Thursday, 25 June 2015

Power supply to exceed 5,500MW by July

Power supply would exceed 5,500 Mega Watts in (MW) July, said the Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Sam Amadi on Thursday.

 According to him, there is improvement in gas supply to power, while transmission capacity has now increased to 5,500MW.

 He disclosed this while playing host to the European Union (EU) delegation in Abuja yesterday.
 The chairman explained that there is improvement in gas supply to the power plant, stressing that the Group Executive Director Gas of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that further improvement is underway in terms of gas supply.

 The chairman said: "Primarily, we talk about the supply of gas and the available capacity. Much of the vandalisms are in the gas side. The gas problem is getting better.

 "We had meeting with the GED of gas at NNPC and he told us of improvements coming up. We hope that by the end of July, with the repair work going on, we might be able to do maybe above 5500MWs."

 Amadi noted that : "The assurance we have is the East-West Gas Pipeline is projected for completion sometime towards the end of 2016.  The idea is that we should be able to do slightly above 6000MWs.

 "The problem is that it depends also on increase in capacity. If we get the NIPP plant sin, we are looking that 4700MWs. If we add this to the distribution companies, we can go above 9000MWs.  Right now, we don’t have enough gas to do above that."

 The European Union however said that  has a €150million facility that it is currently investigating where to expend it to support electricity development in the Nigeria's power sector.

 Its representative, Gerrit William Clarke said "The European Union has a 150 Million Euros support to the power sector.  This initiative concentrates on Nigeria, looking at the areas where this 150 Million Euros could be spent."

 Continuing, Clarke noted that the EU is studying how it can best intervene in affording Nigerians access to electricity .
 He noted that the union is imagining the challenges and preparing to initiate projects that it can support in the country.
 He said "The EU is looking to how they can support additional power supply. Solar power is an offshoot of that. We are representing the European Union Delegation. There is a program called Sustainable Energy for All.  They have a gross facility of 150 Million euros.
 " We are investigating how projects for access to electricity, and how best the EU can make impact and help Nigeria get better access to electricity. We are looking at bottlenecks and also coming up with potential projects that the European Union can support."
 Another representative of the union, Peter Cameron, revealed that because the EU is interested in in access to energy in the country, the delegation has been touring and holding meetings in the nation since last week.
 According to him, the EU is passionate about identifying and tackling an issue in the commission.
 He added that the commission would seek to know potential projects that would be of interest to the NERC for the EU to improve access.
 Speaking, the commission's chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi told the delegation that the notable challenge in the sector is power supply, noting that the market now produces an average of 3,800Mega Watts (MW).
 He said that power supply was very low in the last two months because of vandalism of gas pipeline and drop in water level in the hydro plants.
 His words: "The obvious bottleneck is supply.  As you know, we do average now 3800MWs as at last week.
 "Two months before then we were very low because of combined issue s of vandalism as well as like of supply from gas suppliers because of facility, repair and slightly, some drop in hydro.  Essentially, we it is a problem of supply.  Of course, we are about 80-85% gas base."
 Amadi said that "They are looking at 2016-2017. With the gas that will come from the new and existing pipelines, the operators think that we can get enough to get us the available capacity that we have, and the recoverable capacity that the generators would have.
 "So, gas is a challenge. But it is being addresses. Hopefully, the new government would do more with vandalism.  The reports we have from them is that there is containment and vandalism has dropped as well.
 "Supply constraints feed into revenue constrains. Essentially, this means that the revenue projections of the distribution companies are also affected, irrespective of what the tariff is, because the total revenue would be based on the quantity that you are able to put into the market.
 "Before you even come to the tariff question, the lack of availability affects both the revenue side of it and the retail side in terms of available power and available power has a problem with propensity to pay, because as consumers get ruffled by lack of supply, the tendency to tamper, the tendency to bypass meter, and not to pay is there.
 "With transmission, we have moved to 5500MWs wheeling.
 "In reality, the prospect of improving revenue for the Discos and of improving power supply lies with embedded generation, with Distribution Companies procuring power outside the grid. We have an embedded generation regulation, which has become revolutionary now.
 "Many of the Discos have started setting this up. Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company has almost come to contract award for 474MWs embedded power. Other Discos are working hard at this.
 "That is the place that a lot of work can go in because it helps to remove the need for Bulk Trader guarantee.  It also removes the process for transmission. It enables the Discos to procure premium power for customer clusters that can afford it and then frees more power from the grid for those who want to stay with grid power. That is one area that we are putting a lot of efforts into."

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