15 April 2014, Lagos – The Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) is to negotiate with 45 companies on embedded power generation and additional two companies on captive power as part of its efforts to achieve the ambitious long-term target of generating 500megawatts of electricity to the local grid.
Speaking at the recent 7th Lagos Economic Summit tagged ‘EHINGBETI 2014,’ the Chairman of West Gas and Power, the new owner of Eko Electricity Distribution Company, Mr. Charles Momoh said the company had started a process of trying to improve electricity generation to Lagos State.
Momoh stated that Eko Disco has a capacity to distribute 700megawatts of electricity but is being allocated only 240megawatts from the national grid.
He, however, said despite the challenges of gas supply, which is a major constraint against reliable power supply, his company was leading the efforts to boost electricity supply in the country.
“We have advertised; we have written to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC); we have listed 45 companies to do embedded generation. We are talking to two companies on captive power. Right now, we are going into the process of pre-qualification and this is just a short-term plan that we want to use so that we can get power to the people. But our long-term project is to bring in about 500megawatts into our own local grid,” he said.
Momoh said before his company acquired Eko Disco, they were assured that they would be allocated 450megawatts from the national grid, adding that since they bought the asset, the maximum allocation delivered to Eko Disco was 240megawatts.
“So, the people have to understand the difference between a distribution company, a transmission company and generating company. People say that since Eko Disco came, they do not have light. But we do not take people’s light. We also do not produce the light. People need to know that we have generation, transmission and distribution. We (distribution) is at the far end of it and it is what they give us that we give to the people. We do not keep anything behind. We give people everything we get. If we keep anything behind, it means we are just burning money,” he explained.
He said the major constraints against reliable power supply were ageing infrastructure and shortage of gas.
Momoh said Eko Disco was still using some of the infrastructures built in 1896 when 20megawatts of electricity was first generated in Nigeria by the company.
He lamented that since 1896 when Nigeria first generated 20megawatts of electricity, the country is still struggling to generate 4,000mw, adding that the amount of electricity generated in Nigeria is less than what is used to power some airports in other countries.
– This Day