The Federal Government has announced that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has approved a special gas pricing for emergency contracting of gas from the Nigerian Gas Marketing Company Ltd.
This is one of the various steps taken by the federal government to ensure restoration of normal supply of electricity nationwide.
This disclosure is contained in a statement signed by the Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, on Saturday in Abuja, where he said that the government has made some progress in addressing the challenges in the power sector.
Aliyu said that the approval was given for power plants owned by Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) in order to optimise the capacity utilisation of the plants.
What the Minister of Power is saying
Aliyu said that an on-grid improvement of about 800 Mega Watts (MW) generation capacity was expected from the NDPHC plants with this approval.
The minister pointed out that the approval is a fallout of the emergency meeting he convened on March 14, towards the restoration of normal supply of electricity supply nationwide and the development of a framework for sustainable improvement of supply.
Aliyu said that the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc was also directed to enter into fast-track negotiation with NAOC on an interim energy sales agreement with a view to bringing the new Okpai Il Power Plant in Delta State on the grid thereby contributing an additional 400 Mega Watts (MW)of generation capacity.
He said, “The ‘pigging’ of the gas pipeline supplying gas to the Odukpani power plant in Calabar is scheduled for completion on March thus ramping up generation by about 400MW.
“In the medium-term, we have agreed with the Nigeria Gas and Power Investment Company ( NGPIC )a subsidiary of NNPC on the framework for the overhaul of the Okoloma gas processing plant in River State
“Thereby restoring the full capacity of the 650MW Afam VI in Port-Harcourt combined cycle power plant.’’
Speaking earlier on the progress so far made to address the recent challenges in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, the minister said, “The Nigerian public may please recall that the national grid lost about 1,100MW generation capacity as a consequence of simultaneous disruptions in gas supply to the Okpai, Calabar and the Afam VI power plants.
“The available generation capacity was exacerbated by the ongoing water management regime at the Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro power plants.’’
The minister said that the progress so far made includes, amongst many other initiatives are that the gas pipeline affected by acts of vandalism has been restored adding that the Okpai power plant had resumed power generation and currently contributing an average of 300MW.
He said, “The mitigation measures for avoiding such incidence of blackouts are being implemented through several interventions including the Presidential Power Initiative.
“We wish to reassure all electricity consumers that all relevant agencies involved in the restoration of normality in power supply have been charged to act in the context of the emergency state of the industry.’’
What you should know
- It can be recalled that Nigeria’s energy crisis took a turn for the worse as the national grid suffered shutdowns at least twice in the past week leading to blackouts across the country amid rising prices of fuel products.
- The federal government had in its explanation, attributed the recent problem with the national grid to shortage of gas, vandalism and maintenance of generators, which is further exacerbated by the fuel situation in the country.