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Eko Disco unveils N18 billion investment plan for 2015

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THE Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) has unveiled its investment plan for the 2015 financial year, covering upgrade of electricity facilities and acquisition of new technologies and smart meters to enhance service delivery to the network.

The Managing Director, EKEDC, Oladele Amoda, who disclosed this at the quarterly media briefing in Lagos on Monday said the company is investing about N18 billion to improve service delivery this year.

According to him, the company had invested about N7 billion on facility maintenance and upgrade since the new management took over the company in 2013.

Considering the massive investment profile, he therefore raised hope that the electricity company would soon meet the requirement of the consumers in terms of service delivery.

Although, Amoda decried the low energy allocation from the national grid, he said the company was putting measures in place to float its own embedded power generation system to bridge the energy supply gap.

According to him, about 40 firms have indicated interest in the project, while three of the embedded power plants are already at advanced stages in Ijora (13 Mega Watts), Ogijo (40 Mega Watts) and Apapa (30 Mega Watts) and would come on stream before the end of this year. The company is also expecting 100mw from Egbin power plant.

He estimated that the embedded power project would add about 170mw to the company’s capacity this year and another 300mw in few years time.

Commenting on the issue of estimated billings, Amoda appealed to consumers to cooperate with the company, adding that it is planning to roll out free smart meters to all households beginning from this month. He however enjoined consumers to exercise patient or apply for the meters under the Credit Advancement Payment for Metering Implementation (CAPMI) scheme, which would be refunded later.

He said EKEDC has earmarked about $15 million  (2.92 billion) on maximum demand pre-paid meters to meet the demand of customers, while another N20 billion would be spent on other categories of customers (residential and commercial).

CAPMI was designed by the Federal Government due to the slow pace of customer metering by the DISCOs, as well as the high level of complaints received from customers and dissatisfaction with the prevailing estimated billing.

Noting that the company has installed about 3000 meters so far, said, “by month end, we should have a large consignment that will help us meter our customers with new smart meters. So, our customers should bear with us,” he said.

He however noted that EKEDC has installed over 200 new distribution transformer and three 15MVA 33/11KV power transformers, while about 10 new 33kV feeders and several 11KV feeders were constructed in several locations since take-over.

Amoda identified the companies greatest challenges to include; shortfall in generation capacity resulting from incessant gas pipeline vandalism, energy theft and meter by-pass, transmission interface issues, inadequate grip capacity resulting in instability of the grid, and non cost-reflective tariff among others.

We are focusing on loss reduction (Aggregate Technical Commercial and Collection Losses) which we have been able to reduce significantly from 35 per cent when we took over to 29 per cent presently.

It is also imperative to state that the losses were actually more than 35 per cent when we took over and re-examined the assets.  In the next five years, we are working to reduce it to 10 per cent maximum,” he said.

On outstanding debt by major customers, he said the military formations and government entities under his network are owing almost N700 million, adding that they have engaged the debtors in discussions and working out modalities to recover the debt.

 



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