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Running News on Electricity in Nigeria

Guardian News

October 6, 2004

NEPA, World Bank tackle electricity
supply in Eko, Ikeja zone

By Yakubu Lawal, Asst. Energy Editor

THE National Electric Power Authority (NEPA)
and the World Bank have embarked on strategy for improved electricity supply in
Lagos and its environs.

Specifically, the initiative assisted by the corporate headquarters of the
electricity authority to improve the quality of power supply that will get to
the customers.

This will involve installation of capacity transformers in the entire
network. The project will cover both Eko and Ikeja distribution zones.

Eko distribution Chief Operating Officer (COO), Engr. Kolawale Oni, who
revealed this in Lagos at the weekend at a media chat, said the initiative has a
lot of advantages for the entire network.

These include improving voltage profile to customers, enhancing supply
reliability, minimising the scope of impact of outages on customers and reducing
technical losses drastically.

Oni said in Eko distribution zone alone, about 23 injection sub-sections are
being planned by the sub-stations are being planned by the management to boost
supply as compliments to the World Bank project.

Also, the management of the new distribution zone has put in place
machineries to upgrade most of the existing transmission sub-stations, as part
of its efficient electricity service delivery to the customers.

The zone has also made Information Technology (IT) as one of its cardinal
strategies in services delivery and ensure two-way communications contact with
the customers in all parts of the zone.

The zonal COO pointed out that all the IT concepts being introduced in the
network are geared towards customers satisfaction and to improve service by the
authority.

In the area of sub-stations, he listed a number of stations that will come on
stream. They include at Agbara, upgrading of 7.5 MVA 33/11KV to 15 MVA. While in
Badagry and Otto Awori, the authority plans additional 15 MVA 33/11/KV and 1 x
15 MVA power transformers respectively.

At Amuwo transmission station, 2 x 15 MVA capacity transformer is to be added
at the New Okota, while in Apapa 15 MVA 33/11KV is to be positioned at Apapa
Road.

Similarly, Oni said additional 33KV underground cable feeder would be in
place to feed Apapa via Standard Flower Mill all within Apapa Road transmission
station.

At Ojo transmission station, the authority has planned to instal a 15 MVA
transformer each at Ajagbandi, Ijanikin and Isolo transmission station, 2 x 15
MVA have been proposed for Ajao Estate.

At Akoka transmission station, NEPA is to install 1 x 15 MVA each at new Yaba,
NRC and Akoka Local Council while at Ijora transmission station; the authority
will install 1 x 15 MVA at 3rd Causway transformer and at new Idumagbo.

In Alagbon transmission station 2 x 7.5MVA have been proposed while in Aja
the authority will install 2 x 15 MVA transformer each at Agangi, Ajah Local
Council, Abijoh, Oniru, Oke-Ira, Lekki II and water front respectively.

Oni noted that while all the aforementioned distribution facilities are being
pursued, the zone places more emphasis on customer care activities especially
with the unbundled distribution and marketing activities of the authority.

He said the IT programme establishes channels for communications to customers
through voice, fax, text messages and website, specifically for getting
information on customers’ bills and fault reporting, as well as response to
clearing.

The COO stated that telephone landlines are also provided to linked customers
to the zonal despatch for 24 hours.

“Customers care lines for billing/ marketing enquires equipped with voicemail
are regularly reviewed for action”, he stated.

According to him, through the zonal Wide Area Network (WAN) and the Virtual
Private Network (VPN) established by the zone, help locate complaints by
customers for immediate attention thereby reducing response time to faults
/complaints, adding that customers account status can be viewed and regularly
updated at the same.

He stated that the zone would soon embark on the second phase of pre-payment
meter installation exercise in Festac and this, he said, would be extended to
Ijora.

Oni said that the zone is also looking at possibilities of bulk metering for
its customers, adding that such customers are residential estates, shopping
complexes, market barracks and rural communities.

He said: “The benefits include elimination of avoidable disconnection because
of neighbours’ indebtedness, savings in cost of …metering, labour savings in
reducing the number of meters to be read, making it easy to collect customers
payments centrally”.

Guardian

September 24, 2004

Govt pursues 10-year power development
scheme

Federal Government has given the Ministry of
Power and Steel, approval to develop a 10-year national power and development
programme, to assist the nation’s infrastructural development, on a sustenable
basis.

The decision came at the end of Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in
Abuja on Wednesday.

Science and Technology Minister, Professor Turner Isoun explained that, the
approval followed the recommendations of a committee set up in April to assess
and evaluate available energy resources in the country and the quantity of
electricity that could be derived from them.

Isoun said that the 10-year programme would run from 2005 to 2015 and was
expected that between 2,000 megawatt and 2,500 megawatt of electricity would be
injected into the national grid within the period.

He said that the programme would be implemented through a combined efforts of
the federal and state governments and the international business community with
the organised private sector.

Isoun said that FEC approved that, a pre-feasibility study be carried out on
Nigeria’s solar energy, a project that would be executed through technical
assistance from the Japanese government.

The minister said that all the 49 recommendations made by the committee were
upheld and approved for implementation.

Based on the nine potential power generating area which the committee
identified, Isoun said that, Nigerian had enough resources that would guarantee
24-hour uninterrupted electricity supply.

The nine areas identified include oil and gas, hydro power and nuclear solar,
coal, wind, biomass, hydrogen fuel, wave and tide.

FEC, also awarded contract for the construction of N869.72 million multi
purpose earth dam in Dutsinma, Katsina State.

Water resources minister Muktari Shagari said that, N400 million out of the
N869.72 million was provided for in the 2004 budget and that N300 million had
been released.

He said that, the remaining amount would come under the 2005 budget and noted
that the project would not suffer from non-release of funds.

Also speaking, Minister of Inter governmental Affairs Frank Nweke said that
FEC ratified the report of the Natonal Honour Award Committee.

He said that the list of those to be honoured this year would not be made
public until the NEC ratifies it.

Meanwhile, Police Affairs Minister Broderick Bozimo has described the Monday
killing of Police personnel in Bama and Gwoza in Borno State by bandits as sad.

Bozimo said that, it was like such attacks were becoming the vogue going by
similar experiences in Edo and Yobe States.

He said that the police was ready to tackle the problem through “community
policing so that advance information could be received before any other attack.
On the death of the two policemen and their female counterpart, Bozimo said: “I
am extremely unhappy when a police officer dies. It is as if a part of me has
died.

 

This Day

August 18, 2004

Investors in Power Sector Get Tax
Holiday

 

  • NEPA decentralisation process ends by Dec
    By Mike Oduniyi
     

    Tax holiday is among the incentives the Federal Government
    rolled out to attract foreign investors into the power sector in a bid to meet
    the target of raising electricity generation level in the country to 10,000
    mega watts (MW) by 2010.

    Also, the unbundling of the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA’s) eight
    power stations into six electricity generating companies (Gencos) will be
    completed by the fourth quarter of this year.

    The package of incentives, which the government hoped would fetch the much
    needed foreign direct investment into the sector include tax holidays,
    exemption from duty taxes on imported equipment, capital and investment
    allowances, which can be carried forward and used after tax holiday period.

    They also include implementation of a tariff adjustment mechanism that will
    cover cost of production and provide adequate returns on investment. Another
    incentive which the investors in the power sector will benefit from is the
    establishment of transmission infratructure that would create a level playing
    field for private sector operators.

    According to NEPA officials, the private sector is particularly being wooed to
    take advantage of gas power projects in the country as well as the development
    of the Mambilla Hydro Power Project with an estimated generating potential of
    10,000 MW.

    “The Nigerian power sector is undergoing significant reforms. As these reforms
    progress, investment opportunities will greatly manifest themselves,” a senior
    NEPA official said.

    As part of the reforms, new power generating companies that will emerge from
    the unbundling of NEPA are the Lagos Egbin Power Company, Afam Power Company,
    Delta Power Generating Company, Sapele Power Company, Shiroro Hydro Power
    Company and Kainji Hydro Power Company.

    The companies are to be created from the existing NEPA power stations. As part
    of the process, Ijora Thermal Power Station has been merged with the Lagos
    Egbin Thermal plant to create a new electricity generating outfit, while
    Kainji and Jebba hydro power plants will also merge to create one company.

    The new companies will have a total installed generating capacity of 5,250 MW.

    Unbundling of NEPA preparatory to the eventual privatisation of the state
    power utility, commenced last January, with the unbundling of its distribution
    units into 11 semi-autonomous business units. This was followed by the setting
    up of a transmission company last April.

    While the business units were charged with the responsibility of improving
    energy distribution and revenue generation, the transmission company is
    charged with the task of expanding the electricity network, design and
    construction of transmission lines and substations, grid maintenance and
    ensuring service quality.

    Confirming the development, NEPA’s Assistant General Manager, Public Affairs,
    Mrs. Efuru Igbo, said yesterday that the commencement of the unbundling
    process had improved the authority’s revenue generation from N1.2 billion per
    month to an average N5.5 billion. Igbo said the unbundling process is expected
    to terminate by the end of 2005, when privatisation of NEPA will commence with
    the passage of the Electric Power Sector Reform Bill, now before the National
    Assembly. “The distribution and marketing departments have been merged to
    ensure effectiveness of power distribution and revenue generation, while a
    transmission company has been created to evacuate power from the generation
    companies for distribution,” she said. Igbo said NEPA has taken delivery of
    another set of 1,500 pre-paid meters, 500 of which will be distributed in
    Lagos and the remaining 1,000 meant for Abuja. About 166 new transformers have
    also been purchased. The NEPA spokeswoman said while the authority was
    currently negotiating with some companies including Shell Petroleum
    Development Company, ExxonMobil and ABB, for independent power supply, it was
    still in need of more foreign investors to assist in funding the development
    targets for the power sector. “We still need more foreign investments. The
    Nigerian market potential is enormous with just four million people out of the
    country’s 120 million population connected legally to the national grid,” she
    said. NEPA, with a mix of hydro and thermal power generating units, currently
    has an installed capacity of 5,996 MW. It is however, currently generating
    about 3,000 MW compared to national demand put at some 6,000 MW. Officials
    said power generation dropped to 2,500 MW from 3,300 MW last month, a
    development that was attributed to a drop in gas supply to the thermal plants.
    The Federal Government said it has so far spent over $2 billion to
    rehabilitate the units, which pushed output from its abysmal level of 1,600 MW
    in May 1999. NEPA hit an all time high of 4,000 MW in December 2001.


  •  

    Guardian

    August 17, 2004

    Govt needs N2.11 trillion for stable
    power supply, says Agagu

    By Abiodun Fanoro

    BEFORE the desired level of
    stability in the power sector can be achieved, the nation needs to immediately
    spend about N2.11 trillion on electricity generation and supply.

    The investment is expected to raise the country’s current
    3,000 megawatts to about 12,000 megawatts.

    According to Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Agagu, who is a
    former Minister for Power, the Federal Government is already doing everything
    possible to ensure that this target is met within the next few years.

    Agagu told The Guardian in an interview in Akure that
    the government alone could not do this, because of the huge amount involved and
    the need to ensure that other sectors were not made to suffer.

    The governor canvassed active involvement of the private
    sector in partnership with the government to meet the country’s electricity
    need, which he said is the key to other sectors of the economy.

    He said South Africa with 51 million people and Ghana with
    about 15 million population generated 48,000 and 1,500 megawatts of electricity
    which enable them to record some levels of stability that boost economic
    activities in the country.

    In a veil reference to the current improvement in the supply
    and availability of petroleum products nationwide, the governor warned that
    except the energy sector is privatised and electricity billing fully deregulated
    to reflect the actual cost of generation, distribution and maintenance,
    epileptic power supply would continue to haunt the nation.

    The former minister said power stability in a country like
    China, a communist state, is due to the fact that the 12 cents charged per unit
    as against Nigeria’s four cents, reflected the actual combined indices at play
    in Beijing’s power generation and economy.

    Agagu restated government’s resolve not to fully involve in
    business ventures, but only to provide the enabling environment where private
    sector investment can flourish.

    His words: “Experience has shown that governments are not good
    investment managers, because government’s business is everybody’s business and
    everybody’s business is no one’s business.”

     

    Vanguard

    August 5, 2004

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