13 May 2015, Abuja – The Niger Delta Power Holding Company, NDPHC, on Tuesday said that its assets portfolio under the National Integrated Power Projects, NIPP, has risen to over $5 billion (about N995 billion).
The fund spent on power generation plants, gas facilities, expansion of transmission lines and substations, makes NDPHC the single largest investor and owner of power generation assets in the country.
NDPHC’s Managing Director, James Olotu, who disclosed this in Abuja at a forum of electricity generation companies, explained that of its 10 power plants, seven are now operational.
The company which is owned by the three tiers of government was initially set up to establish gas powered power plants in the Niger Delta, utilising the abundant natural resource that is being flared by oil exploration companies operating in the region.
Under the NIPP arrangement, the NDPHC has built gas pipelines linking its power plants to production points, which account for about 2,600 of the 5,500 megawatts available generation capacity.
Olotu, who was represented by the company’s Associate Head of Generation, Onuoha Igwe, explained that the NDPHC is working hard to strengthen the nation’s transmission network, noting that getting gas to the pipelines remains a huge challenge.
He pointed out that once there are disruptions on the southwest pipeline axis, there would be no gas to operate its generating plants at Ihovbor, Sapele, Geregu, Omotosho and Olorunsogo.
According to him, “what we have being seeing in the past year or two is persistent damage of the gas pipelines. The moment they are damaged the plants’ turbines stop running and then there is no power supply.
“As at last week, those plants were running on only one unit each. Olorunsogo which has over 600MW had just a turbine running, which amounted to only 170mw,” he noted.
Olotu explained that NDPHC’s efforts to upgrade the weak electricity transmission system, has seen a lot of work done on the abandoned long stretch of the eastern transmission loop which extends from Afam in Rivers State to Ikot Ekpene in Akwa Ibom, Ugwuaji in Enugu, Markurdi in Benue and then Jos in Plateau State. The project would be completed by July, he added.
He recalled that the NIPP was conceived in 2004 as a fast-track public sector funded initiative to add significant new generation capacity to Nigeria’s electricity supply system along with the electricity transmission, distribution and natural gas supply infrastructure required to deliver the additional capacity to consumers throughout the country.
The government in 2005 incorporated NDPHC to serve as the legal vehicle to contract for, hold, manage and operate the assets developed and built under the NIPP using private sector best practices. NDPHC is also set to commence construction of hydropower dams up north in the second phase of the NIPP.
*Obas Esiedesa – Daily Independent