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POWER & ENERGY

This is What is Frustrating the Reforms in Nigeria’s Power Sector

Inadequate gas supply to thermal power stations is frustrating the reforms in the power sector, former chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), and managing director of Aiteo Power and Gas, Dr Ransom Owan, has said.

Owan, who spoke at the West African Power Industry Convention (WAPIC) in Lagos, said that the situation of irregular gas supply has stalled the privatisation of 10 power stations built under the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP). The sale of the 10 power plants could generate up to $5.6 billion for the federal government.

The National Economic Council (NEC) under the former administration had approved that each of the generation stations be incorporated as a limited liability company with 80 per cent of their shares offered for sale to private investors. However, the privatisation of the 10 plants, scheduled for completion mid last year, has suffered setbacks due to inadequate gas to test-run completed ones.

The first phase of the NIPP project was designed to generate 4,771 megawatts (mw) from the 10 gas-fired power stations with committed investment to date from the federal, state and local governments in the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) and NIPP amounting to $8.475 billion. A status report presented at the 31st meeting of the board of directors of the NDPHC held on April 17, 2015, showed that 6 out of the 10 power stations are ready to generate 2,910.1mw of electricity, subject to availability of gas to the plants. The report identified the six NIPP power plants which are already adding power to the national grid.

The report also disclosed that there are no committed gas supplies for Geregu and Ihovbor. In a recent interview, Yakubu Lawal confirmed that the stations had been shut down due to shortage of gas supply. Lawal said the management had ordered the shut down following the inability of gas suppliers to make available the product.

He also disclosed that other facilities constructed by the NDPHC and due for commissioning was shelved as there was no gas to power them.

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