The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Power Holding (NDPH), Chiedu Ugbo, has identified inadequate gas supply and evacuation as major problems facing power plants in the country.
Ugbo made this observation when he led the House Representatives Committee on Power on a tour of the Ogorode power Generation Company Ltd., a power plant in Sapele, Delta, and the Benin Generation Company Ltd., Edo.
Speaking in Benin, Ugbo said: “Nigeria only generates electricity through gas and hydropower; and the inconsistent gas supply across the nation has been a major problem the generating companies have to contend with.
“People are not paying appropriate tariff in any of the value chains, which is affecting all the systems from the gas producers to the power distributors.
“When they are not being paid enough, they are also unable to cover their payment obligations to gas suppliers.
“So, the gas suppliers, from our discussions, do not have that incentive to continue supplying gas to the electric power generation companies.
“The Benin GenCo has four gas turbines with 504-megawatt installed capacity. Each unit has 125 megawatt point.
“The National Control Centre asked us not to generate beyond a particular level; so we are doing between 90 megawatts and 95 megawatts from that unit, which ordinarily should be doing up to 115 megawatts, depending on the temperature.
“We were in Sapele-Ogorode Sapele Power Plant with 504-megawatt installed capacity; we should be able to generate at least 450 megawatts, depending on the temperature.
“If we generate and nobody is taking it from transmission company, it becomes a problem and that is where the evacuation challenge comes in,’’ he said.
The managing director, however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the presidential power initiative, which he described as holistic approach to tackling the power sector problems.
“We have done a lot to assist the transmission company and we are still doing more. We have done more than 80 projects in distribution and we are doing more to improve their capacity,” he said.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Power, Rep. Magaji Aliyu, noted that Nigeria had the potential to generate more than 10,000 megawatts of electricity from existing plants.
He noted that at the moment, “Nigeria currently generates more than 3,000 megawatts, which is insufficient.
“I sincerely believe that the problem is not about generation, the problem must be from the transmission or the distribution of electricity,’’ he said.