13 August 2015, Lagos – The Chief Executive Officer of Egbin Power Plc, Mr. Dallas Peavey, has stated that the plant has hit a generation capacity of 1,100 megawatts, thus accounting for almost one-third of the current improvement in power supply across the country.
Peavy attributed the recent ramp-up of Egbin’s capacity to continuous investment and revamp of the plant by its new owners, Sahara Power Group and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).
In a related development, President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday said his government had already identified the critical problems in Nigeria’s power sector and was taking appropriate actions to address them.
Peavey in a statement said when the new owners took over in November 2013, generation at Egbin averaged 500 megawatts due to the dismal state of its six units, with only two of the six units operational at the plant’s lowest point.
According to him, the last time the power plant hit the 1,000MW mark was eight years ago, adding that this peak lasted for less than two hours.
He said the transformation in Egbin commenced after its acquisition by Kepco Energy Resource Limited (KERL), in collaboration with its technical partners, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).
“Through the injection of close to N50 billion in new capital into Egbin post privatisation, the Sahara Power/KEPCO partnership has brought to the power plant, an unprecedented level of innovation, professionalism, human capital development and continuing investment in new technology. The control room panels, installed at the plant’s inception have been removed and upgraded to state of the art digital panels. The highlight of the main plant rehabilitation occurred in the first quarter of 2015, when the company successfully rehabilitated ST Unit 6, bringing an additional 220MW to the national grid and restoring the power plant to its installed capacity of 1320MW,” Peavy explained.
With these developments, Peavy said the plant was equipped to generate power at its installed 1,320MW capacity, while the new owners was exploring expansion in power generation to hit 2, 670 megawatts, subject to availability of gas, additional transmission capacity and improved demand for power.
Peavey said the new owners had developed a roadmap for consistent retooling and re-positioning of the company to conform to the latest technology and ensure optimal performance.
“In 2014, 107 young Nigerian graduate engineers were recruited into our Graduate Engineering Programme (GEP), a fast track manpower and developmental programme for high potential individuals. In the true spirit of national development, the engineers were sent to the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) for a year’s training under the Graduate Skills Development Programme. They have since graduated and we are excited to receive them back to contribute their quota in strengthening the sector,’’ he added.
Giving a breakdown of gas supply to the plant, Peavy stated that the power plant received 3.5 million scf in January, 2.8 million standard cubic feet per day (Scf/d) in February; 3.1 million scf/d in March, 2.8 million scf/d in April, 2.4 million scf/d in May, 4.0 million scf/d in June and 6.1 million scf/d in July.
Peavy added that Egbin Power is currently the only facility plant that provides over 150MW of spinning reserve, Grid System Frequency and Voltage Ampere Reactive (VAR) Power control which provides the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) the means to balance supply across Nigeria.
According to him, Egbin also provides the balance of power generation and system electrical control to the Nigerian National Steel Mills in Lagos, adding that this takes the balance of power to keep the system in positive generation.
Meanwhile, Buhari who spoke after he was briefed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali, said his administration would give the fullest possible attention to boosting power supply in Nigeria because it was convinced that steady electricity would launch the country into faster socio-economic development.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, quoted Buhari as saying that his administration had also prioritized certain measures in its action plan to boost electricity supply in Nigeria.
The president said: “The problems besetting our power sector are not difficult to identify. Therefore, priorities can be easily set in order to tackle them.
“The problems are more with transmission than generation, and we equally need to secure the power infrastructure round the country.
“We will address all these issues,” the president said.
Igali reportedly told the president that power generation in Nigeria which was 1,750 MW in 1999, had now peaked at 4,600 MW.
He added that gas was available to take generation to 5,500 MW in a short time, but that the country needed to expand its electricity infrastructure to accommodate additional power generation.
On his way out of the State House, Igali told the level of power generation had improved in the past two months significantly.
He said: “We are doing over 4600 megawatts of power on the grid and we can do better. But then this is a big improvement from about 3,000. Other times when we attained 4,000, because of pipeline disruptions we go down to about 2000. We’ve consistently in the past two months been over 4,500, now reaching close to 4,700.”
Igali said that Nigerians were tired of paying estimated electricity bills and that his ministry had been on the neck of the distribution companies (Discos) to provide meters to their consumers.
He said “Distribution remains a challenge because that’s where customers feel it most. A lot of the Discos, we’re working with them very closely, tracking them, to make sure that what is needed at the distribution level is done.
“They must improve on their network, they must improve on the availability of transformers and the supply of meters because Nigerians are tired of estimated billing. So we’ve been working closely with them, tracking them, and sometimes even imposing fines.”
Asked what his ministry is doing to check excessive billing by the power companies, Igali said: “These are things that will be discussed. The Senate discussed it, NERC chairman met me this morning asking to know what measures we can take to be able to address the concerns being raised by Nigerians, genuine concerns because if light is not there and then you see the bills all the time, it’s not a very good thing.
“So we’ve discussed with chairman of NERC and these matters are being addressed and very soon NERC will be reating to what the Senate had said. We would also go to discuss with the Senate to enlighten them a little bit more on how this process, the value chain of the power supply.
“Electricity supply is mostly now in the hands of private sector. If its in the hands of the private sector, then it means that the private sector people must bring in copious investment, a lot of investment, into the sector. And if they must bring in investment, then it means that they must earn revenue to be able to bring in investment. It’s a chicken and eggs situation. If the power supply situation must improve, especially at the distribution level, they must provide transformers, they must provide switch gears, they must provide meters.”
– This Day