The inability of the Federal Government to put to use about 2,000 mega watts of electricity stranded in the power sector has brought both commercial and industrial activities to a comatose state with many businesses bearing the brunt through increased cost of production due to huge spending on alternative sources of power which comes at a premium.
The debate on an estimated 2,000MW stranded capacity has continued to generate mixed reactions among stakeholders in the power sector value chain.
While many believed it remained a major disservice for the country, especially for the industrial sector to have a capacity of about 2,000MW that could help deliver thousands of jobs stranded.
The challenge of the 2,000MW stranded power has led to buck passing between the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and Electricity Distribution Companies (Discos).While the former had consistently claimed that the Discos lacked the capacity to take the generated power; the latter disagrees by insisting that the transmission network on its own was weak to accommodate same.
But as the seemingly endless crises persist, the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), stepped in to bridge the gap with its investment in generation, transmission and distribution to ensure that the 2,000MW stranded power is delivered to homes, offices and the industrial sector through its National Integrated Power Projects.
The Fashola alarm
Immediate past Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, in 2018, disclosed that up to 2,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity were left unused in Nigeria because there was no good data to link up sources of supply to demand points. He explained that electricity generation companies (Gencos) in the country were able to generate up to 7,000MW of electricity, and put about 5,000MW to the grid, with the balance of 2,000MW left unused.
He noted that the amount of unused electricity was likely to increase the year, when about 1,129MW of new generation capacities would be added to the grid from the likes of 450MW Azura Edo plant, 215MW Kaduna power plant, and 240MW Afam Fast Power project, among others.
According to him, there was thus the need for the industry to clearly begin to link supply sources to demand points across the country, adding that the eligibility customers regulation which the electricity distribution companies (Discos) were against would address the challenges. “The fact that we can produce over 7,000MW and can now only put over 5,000MW on the grid means that we have 2,000MW of unused power left in a country where many still require power. This is a new problem that we must resolve,” said Fashola He noted: “We must get that 2,000MW out to the people who need it, because more power is coming in 2018 from places like Azura (450MW); Katsina wind (10MW); Gbarain (115MW); Kashimbilla (40MW); Afam III (240MW); Gurara (30MW); Dadin Kowa (29MW); and Kaduna (215MW) to mention a few. All of these do not include mini-grids and solar systems that are in various stages of development.”
The minister stated that he has had instances of consumers complaining of lack of electricity supply to them, and that such cases in a situation where up to 2,000MW of electricity was left unused was improper.
Recently completed NIPP transmission substations/lines
Some of the recently completed projects include the 330kV Ikot-Ekpene switching station; 330kV DC Alaoji – Ikot Ekpene Transmission Line; 330kV DC Calabar – Ikot Ekpene transmission line; 2x150MVA, 330/132kV and 2x60MVA, 132/33kV Gwagwalada SS; 330kV DC Gwagwalada – East Main transmission line; 132kV DC East Main – Kukwaba – Apo transmission line; 1x60MVA, 132/33kV Lokoja SS; 330kV DC Ajaokuta – Lokoja – Gwagwalada transmission line; 1 x 300MVA, 330/132kV Alagbon SS; 1x300MVA, 330/132kV Lekki SS; 1 x 330kV DC IkotEkpene – Ugwaji transmission iine (2)
NIPP intervention in distribution
The need to strengthen the nation’s distribution assets saw the NDPHC intervening to deliver a number of 78 intervention projects. They were added over 544Km of 33kV lines; over 130Km of 11kV Lines; 199 distribution transformers (100KVA, 200KVA, 300KVA, 500 KVA); 148MVA injection substation capacity was added and 108MVA distribution transformers capacity equally delivered.
Other set of distribution projects totaling 296 have been completed in addition to 33/11kV distribution injection substations; 1,712 Km of 33kV lines ; 4,540 Km of 11kV lines; 24,996 completely self-protected transformers. A total of 3,970MVA injection substation capacity was aslo added; 1,212MVA CSP transformation capacity was also added.
Other projects completed in the distribution arm are; the 1x15MVA, 33/11kV Injection SS, Tambuwal, Sokoto State; 1x15MVA, 33/11kV, 1X7.5MVA Inj SS, Fegge, Anambra State; 1X7.5MVA, 33/11kV Inj SS, Potiskum, Yobe State; 1X15MVA, 33/11kV Inj SS, Gagi, Sokoto State; 1×7.5MVA, 33/11kV Inj SS. Otta, Ogun State; 1X15MVA, 33/11kV Inj SS, AngwanDosa, Kaduna State; 2×7.5 MVA, 33/11kV Inj SS, Lamingo, Plateau State; 2X15MVA, 33/11KV Inj SS, Zaria Rd, Jos. Others are; Construction of 33kV line from Oke Aro TS to Mowe SS; 2x15MVA, 33/11kv Injection SS, Asaba, Delta State; 1×7.5 MVA, 33/11kV Injection SS, Saminaka, Kaduna State; 1X7.5kVMVA, 33/11kV Injection SS, Iloko, Osun State; 1X15MVA, 33/11kV Injection SS, Aminkanle, Lagos State; 1x15MVA, 33/11kv Injection SS, Abule Taylor, Lagos State; 1x15MVA, 33/11kv Injection SS, Elemoro, Lagos State; 1×7.5MVA, 33/11kv Injection SS, Bauchi, Bauchi State; 1x15MVA, 33/11kv Injection SS, Farfaru, Sokoto State; 1×7.5MVA, 33/11kv Injection SS, Water Works Gusua, Zamfara; 1×7.5MVA, 33/11kv Injection SS, Otowhodo, Delta State; 1×7.5MVA, 33/11kv Injection SS, Ibusa, Delta State.
Ongoing transmission projects
The transmission arm of the power sector value chain which has often been described as the weakest link is also getting attention from NDPHC with some ongoing critical transmission projects which includes; Otta 132/33kV substation expansion project, Otta – Papalanto new 132kV DC line construction project, Papalanto 132/33kV substation expansion project, Papalanto – Old Abeokuta New 132kV DC line construction project, Old Abeokuta 132/33kV substation expansion project.
Others are; Old Abeokuta – New Abeokuta 132kV DC line construction project, New Abeokuta 132/33kV substation construction project, 330/132KV 1X150MVA transformer substation at Ihiala, including Turn-In-Turn-Out of the existing Alaoji – Onitsha 330kV single circuit line at Ihiala, 330kV Ihiala – Nnewi DC line, 132/33kV Ihiala substation,Ihiala 132kV Line Bay substation extension works, Afam – Ikot Ekpene 330kV DC line construction, Ikot Abasi – Ikot Ekpene 330kV DC line construction, and Ikot Abasi 3X150MVA, 330/132/33kV substation construction.
Other ongoing projects
In February 2018, the NDPHC flagged off the construction of a 330KV transmission substation worth N5.49 billion in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital. When completed, it will add about 300 megawatts (MW) of electricity capacity to Nasarawa state.
The substation comprising 2 x 150MVA transformers and 2 x 60MVA transformers will get its power source from the Ikot Ekpene transmission switching station in Akwa Ibom state, passing through Ugwuaji in Enugu to Makurdi, and to Lafia before reaching Jos substation.
The new substation will improve supply around Lafia that now depends on a 93 kilometre distribution line from Akwanga with low voltage. It will also serve as the third source for Abuja which depends on the transmission lines from Shiroro and Geregu Generation Companies (GenCos).
Also in February 2018, further driving the goal of sustainable power generation and transmission, 2 X 150, 330/132 KV and 2 X 60 MVA, 132/33KV injection sub-station power transformer projects were also commenced in Akruba, Lafia, Nassarawa state. The substation will supply 15 units of 500kv distribution transformers. A 500kv transformer has the capacity of supplying power to about 1,000 households.
This substation is of strategic importance to Nasarawa State as it boosts power supply to various parts of Nasarawa South Central District including Obi town and environs, the Federal University Lafia, the State House of Assembly Quarters and some other parts of Lafia City. The project is being handled by a world class German company AK – AY Elektrik.