NBET, TCN get $473m facility from AfDB to boost power supply

*Power transmission tower.

*Power transmission tower.

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

30 July 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading, NBET, Plc and the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, are to enjoy a $473 million loan facility from the African Development Bank (AfDB), which will be divided into $273 million and $200 million for NBET and TCN respectively.

The Minister of Power, Works, and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who disclosed this in Abuja when he met with a delegation from the International Monetary Fund, IMF, also noted that all arrangements for securing the funds have already been concluded.

A statement released by the director of press in the ministry, Timothy Oyedeji, quoted Fashola as saying that the support in loan agreement in the sum of $273 million has been earmarked to provide partial risk guarantee for the off-taker (NBET), while the sum of $200 million will be channeled to TCN for its grid upgrade plans.

He said government intends to tackle this challenge in the power sector through holistic approach as contained in the recently unveiled “Road Map to Power,” which contains timelines and planned series of complimentary activities and deliverables.

“We are expecting that at the end of the year, our generation capacity will be over 6,000mw by the end of 2016; 10000mw in 2019 and 30,000mw in 2030,” Fashola noted.

As planned within the maxim of incremental, stable and uninterrupted power, the minister said government had taken bold steps to harness the solar powered projects by signing off on the power purchase agreements (PPAs), with 14 companies located in 9 states and the FCT, which is expected to bring 1,150mw of solar energy to the national grid.

The minister said the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has demonstrated its firm commitment to the diversification of the economy by moving it away from over-dependence on oil.

He added that for the first time the tone has been set, as the government has reduced the contribution of oil in favour of non-oil revenue especially agriculture and solid minerals.

Speaking on the government’s planned energy mix as contained in the road map document, the minister said that the plan was to have robust mix that will increase the use of coal, hydro, solar, and more gas to power, bearing in mind that energy in large quantum would be required for individual uses, household access and indeed spread of electricity access across the vast country.

Also speaking at the meeting, the Permanent Secretary for Power in the ministry, Mr. Louis Edozien, said that the sector’s challenge now occasioned by incessant vandalism of gas infrastructure has necessitated the development plan which identified stages of growth from 2017 to 2030 on the premise that vulnerability of gas supply will be radically addressed.

According to him, a lot of new renewable energy sources would soon come upstream, including the 40mw Gurara dam in Kaduna State, the 40mw Kashimbilla dam in Taraba, 10 MW wind farm in Katsina and the 30mw phase one of Kudendan dual fired plant in Kaduna State.

On the new rural electrification implementation strategy now before the President, Edozien said the document contains a change in focus from grid expansion to a more decentralized format that would emphasize micro grid to be fed from solar and small hydros, which would be off-grid.

Speaking earlier, the leader of the delegation and chief of mission for IMF, Mr. Gene Leone, said his mission was to take an overall outlook of state of infrastructural development in Nigeria, with a view to taking stock of initiatives, innovations, and reforms by identifying time lines for the start and completion schedules of projects.

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