15 April 2014, Lagos – The Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) has written to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to signify its intention to allocate 1,320megawatts expected from the doubling of the current capacity of the Egbin Power Plant to Lagos State.
Speaking at the just-concluded 7th Lagos Economic Summit tagged ‘EHINGBETI 2014,’ the Managing Director of Sahara Power, the new owner of the 1,320 megawatt-capacity Egbin Power Station and the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, Mr. Kola Adesina said when the new investors took over Egbin plant and IKEDC in November 2013, they realised that they could not wait for the long years stipulated in the privatisation documents for them to increase the capacities of the assets.
Adesina stated that if the investors would wait for the number of years provided in the privatisation documents before increasing the capacities of the assets they acquired, it would be difficult for a reliable power supply to be achieved.
He noted that the encounter the new investors had with the Lagos State Government showed that state government urgently required 10,000megawatts of electricity to industrialise the state and improve the quality of life of the people.
Adesina disclosed that Egbin has a capacity to generate 1,320megawatts but the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) the new buyers signed with the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company indicated only 1,100megawatts.
“So, the first thing we did was to say that the 220megawatts capacity that was not captured in the PPA will be dedicated to Lagos State alone. Additionally, the initial commitment we had with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) was that we were going to generate additional capacity of 1,350megawatts from Egbin,” he said.
He said the company had written to NERC to notify it of its intention to double the capacity at Egbin, and also informing the regulator that the additional capacity would be domiciled to Lagos.
Adesina noted that while the new investors have laudable ambition since they took over the assets, shortage of gas has remained a major challenge.
“People do not know the peculiarity of the power infrastructure and that there exists a value chain. People do not know that the man that distributes electricity will have nothing to distribute if there is no gas. So, the very first thing that requires urgent attention is for us to get the gas readily available for us to be able to transmit and distribute the capacity that is desirable,” he added.
The Sahara Power boss stated that Ikeja disco has a capacity to distribute 950megawatts of electricity but received a maximum of 650megawatts for only two days since the past seven years.
“Since we took over, the highest capacity that has been deployed by the Transmission Company to Ikeja Disco was 407megawatts. If you do not have power to distribute, you cannot distribute power. It is what is given to you that you take. At one point on a Sunday we were able to get only 118megawatts from the system,” he said.
He said Ikeja Disco and Eko Disco were supposed to receive 15per cent and 11per cent, respectively, of the available power capacity in the system but shortage of gas has made it impossible for the two companies to receive these allocations.