NIPP: The importance of being serious

Olorunshogo power plantEfe Victor

21 April 2013, Asaba, Delta – What the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, NDPHC, has achieved under the National Integration Power Projects, NIPP, in the last 12 months or thereabouts  is a  testament to what greatness this country can achieve in no time if only we could muster a collective seriousness in the nation-building process.

Despite intensive legal, political and funding hiccups leading to a two-year hiatus, the NDPHC has completed 15 power generation projects  in Olorunsogo, Ogun State; Sapele, Delta State; Alaoji,  Abia State; and Omotosho, Ondo State. Cumulatively, these power stations have increased the country’s generation capacity by 1,687.5MW.

Also, the NDPHC has added 274 kilometres (km) of transmission lines to the national carrying capacity through the completion of six transmission projects namely, the 330KV DC Ajaokuta-Lokoja-Gwagwalada lines, 222Km; 330KV DC Ihovbor-Benin Main-Oshogbo Line A, 17km; 330KV DC Papalanto-IkejaWest-Ayede line, 16KM; 330KV DC Ganmo-Jebba-Oshogbo SC-Turn In/Turn Out Line, 12KM; 330KV DC Omotosho-Ikeja West Line, 5Km; and the two-kilometre, 132KV DC Ganmo-Ilorin-Oshogbo Turn In/Turn Out line.

Furthermore, the NDPHC has strengthened the transmission capacity of 12 substations, built three new ones from the scratch and rehabilitated two across the country, with a cumulative capacity of 2,370MVA.

In the distribution end of the NIPP project, the NDPHC also has a haul of 30 completed zonal projects as follows: Abuja zone, 2; Benin zone,2; Eko zone, 9; Ibadan zone, 6; Ikeja zone 6; Kaduna zone, 3; and Jos/Yola zone, 2.

So, from zero contribution at inception in 2005, the NIPP injected 1500MW into the national grind last year.

And, as part of the NIPP, the NDPHC is overhauling the country’s transformer system by putting the huge 3000KVA-50000KVA low voltage range of transformers out of service and replacing them with hundreds of thousands complete, self-protective, CSP, high voltage transformers in the 25-50KVA range.

Attached to two or three homes at the maximum, the CSPs are being deployed nationwide to end the phenomenon of plunging whole neighbourhood into darkness whenever the sole transformer serving several streets pack up, among other problems associated with the central transformer system.

To be sure, the NDPHC recorded this feat under excruciating circumstances. These include gas supply to the power stations, security and community issues, wayleave acquisition problems and attendant costs, port clearing coordination and challenges and contractor performance problems.

Impressive as this 2012 scorecard of the firm is, the NDPHC, according to its Managing Director, Engr. James Olotu, says it is the tip of an iceberg compared to what the firm plans to achieve this year.

Speaking at a recent quarterly review of the NIPP, Olotu laid out the NDPHC’s work-plan for this year, which includes completion of all Gas Turbine Projects in order to add a massive 4,264MW to the country’s generation capacity, completion of Transmission Projects to deliver 2,194Km of 330 KVA lines; 5,640MVA 330/132KV SS and 809Km 132KV lines, and 3.433MVA 132/33KV SS and finishing distribution projects of 3,540MVA substations plus 2,600Km of 11KV lines and 1,700Km of 33KV lines.

The NDPHC also plans to follow up the outstanding combined cycle for the 510MW Alaoji Power Station, complete gas projects and conclude all Gas Sales Aggregator Agreements, GSAA, and Gas Transmission Agreements, GTA, and receive and commence the implementation of the Transaction Adviser’s recommendation this year.

Although the country has been ill-famed for the wrong reasons, not many know that the NIPP is the single largest power project by any country in the world right now. It is a massive undertaking that is replacing the country worn radial infrastructure with a loop system that would ensure multiple sources of power supplies to consumers across the country.

“The global best practice is that power transmission infrastructure should exceed the power generated and power distribution infrastructure should be able to carry more than the transmission bring on, in order to create redundancies, which would come in handy in the event of load loss. We are determined to achieve this global model under the NIPP,” Olotu said.

Quite a lofty goal to set for the NDPHC this year by its helmsman; may the day of uninterrupted power supply dawn soon in our country.

*Victor is resident  in  Asaba, Delta State.

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