NERC to meet state governors over mini-grid power systems

*JUVNL's 5000KVA mini power grid.

*JUVNL’s 5000KVA mini power grid.

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

05 October 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – With plans to open up the grid system to local investment, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, (NERC) has indicated that it would meet with governors of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to encourage mini-grid power investments in their state in order to boost power supply.

This is as the Governor of Benue State, Mr. Samuel Ortom, has stated that the state government, in partnership with an investor, Contec Global Energy, will construct a 10 Mega-Watt of embedded power plant valued at 18 million dollars to grow economic activities in the state.

A statement signed by the Head of Public Affairs of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr. Usman Arabi, said that Ortom announced the plan at a visit to the commission on Tuesday in Abuja.

Ortom said that the planned power plant would be dedicated to industrial layouts in the state.

According to the statement, the acting Chairman of NERC, Dr. Anthony Akah, said NERC would assist states that intended to invest in the power sector to improve the volume of power to Nigerians.

He said that the commission was planning to have a meeting with the 36 state governors on the investment opportunities in the sector.

He said that Ortom and other state governors should take interest in the ongoing consultations on mini-grid regulation.

The chairman said that the governors could explore the mini-grid regulation to provide electricity to areas in their states not connected to the national grid, adding that NERC would provide the needed assistance.

He said, “There is a regulatory guarantee on your investments; we will get some of our staff to work with your team and guide you through the technical and other requirements for the issuance of a licence.”

Akah expressed concern at the high incidence of violation of the right of ways and trading activities under transmission lines, adding that it had led to many accidents in the power sector.

He said, “Each time we have an accident in the sector, we feel we have lost one of our own. Most of these accidents are preventable and we hope we can work with state governments on how we can reduce accidents to the barest minimum.”

Akah solicited the assistance of Benue government on the payment of the debt owed operators in the power sector by ministries, departments, and agencies.

The Project Coordinator of Contec Global Energy, Mr. Shashi Mozumder, said that the company had been issued a Certificate of Occupancy for the project site.

Mozumder said that the power plant would also comprise three units of General Electric 3.4 megawatts turbines fuelled by gas transported with trucks from the oil fields.

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