FG Meets Manufacturers over 2,000MW Stranded Electricity

Transformer

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, yesterday, met with electricity customers and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) on how additional 2,000 megawatts (MW) could be delivered to industries and households.

Fashola, who addressed the stakeholders in Abuja, said the story of the manufacturing and production sector had been characterised by lack of infrastructure, including power supply, and that rather than talking of solutions people had harped on the problem.

The minister said Generation Companies (GenCos) now produced 7,000MW and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) was able to transport all of it and was expanding its capacity; and that the Distribution Companies (DisCos) had also increased their load-taking capacity to 5,000MW.

“However, this leaves a gap of 2,000MW of what you manufacturers will call unsold inventory. What we seek to do is just increase the possibility of access to power and the quality of power supply,” Fashola said, urging participants to work out solutions for distributing the stranded power.

The minister said the Eligible Rule launched by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in November 2017 gave customers the opportunity to buy this stranded power directly from GenCos just like the DisCos and the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET).

“What we gather to do today is to open the window for sales to the Eligible Customer. There can be no better time to explore this option than when there is the inventory of unsold power, with the clear promise of more to come,” Fashola assured.

Daily Trust reports that minutes of the January power sector meeting in Lafia, Nasarawa State, recorded that N73bn investments would be required at 33/11/0.415kv voltage levels to distribute the 2,000MW stranded power to eligible customers who were those that consumed from 2MW and above.

The Director, Distribution System Department (DSD) at the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Engr. Briskila Sapke, gave the breakdown to include N57.9bn for procuring equipment, while 15.2bn would serve as cost of transportation and logistics.

President of MAN, Dr. Frank Udemba-Jacobs, on the sidelines, lauded the initiative, saying it would augment the self-generated power that his members relied on.

He said, “This 2,000MW is there wasting away while we need more power. MAN members alone consume 14,883MW daily and most of these are self-generated. This will help to augment the generation.”

Dr. Jacobs said the 2,000MW power evacuation initiative might likely draw opposition from the DisCos, but that they must understand the imperatives in the interest of Nigeria.

“The opposition we are expecting may be the DisCos, but they need to understand that what we are doing is in the interest of the country and the economy,” he advised.

Responding to questions, the minister said, “What we want to see is access to good power to support manufacturing and support Nigerians.”

Source: Daily Trust

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