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DisCos, GenCos push for supply improvement as TCN rates operators low

By Kingsley Jeremiah, Abuja
17 October 2023   |   3:04 am
Stakeholders in the power sector are pushing for leeway that would ensure a collaborative approach to resolving the challenges facing the power sector amidst poor supply of electricity across the country.


•TCN insists 8,500MW capacity lying idle over poor generation

Stakeholders in the power sector are pushing for leeway that would ensure a collaborative approach to resolving the challenges facing the power sector amidst poor supply of electricity across the country.

They met at the bi-yearly joint generation, operations and DisCos’ planning meeting in Abuja.While the players insisted that only a sustainable strategy would address the challenges in the sector, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) said the level of generation remained a major issue despite improvement of transmission capacity to 8,500MW.

While Nigeria’s generation capacity is put at about 13, 000MW, actual generation stands at about 4,000MW while daily load offload stands at about 3,200MW.

Managing Director of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), Christopher Ezeafulukwe, said there is a need for improvement if the objectives of privatization would be met.

Although he admitted that there is an improvement in the power sector since it was partially privatised 10 years ago, Ezeafuluke said the sector has been plagued by the issue of sustainability in policies and operations.

According to him, the biggest question confronting the players is how to collectively ensure adequate and reliable supply of electricity to customers even in the face of challenges.

“A team means a group of people who work together towards achieving a common purpose or goal. And our common goal is to ensure that we collectively and sustainably give electricity supply to the customers.

“Incidentally, we are all customers. That is the funny thing about the product that we either produce or we transmit or we distribute. We are not in that kind of business where some people sell things that they don’t use. We need to work together as a team,” he stated.

General Manager, TCN, Ajiboye Oluwagbenga, said transmission capacity has moved to 8,500 megawatts.

“If you are talking about distribution constraints, that is there. But with generation, presently, available capacity can be conveniently wheeled. We don’t have constraints. In the few places we envisaged constraints, we are already working, preparing for evacuation,” he said.

When asked to state the current capacity of the transmission company, he said the firm just did a simulation that showed that its capacity to transmit power had risen to 8,500MW.

Oluwagbenga said: “Let me tell you one funny thing about this sector now, if you people attended the meeting we had with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission recently, we demonstrated by simulation that TCN can conveniently wheel 8,500MW.

“But up till now, the power generation that is coming to the grid is always revolving around 4,000MW; why? We can blame the Discos (distribution companies) partially because we believe the off-take is not there due to revenue issues.

“But at the same time, I want to ask a germane question, when we were talking about service level agreement, why is the generation arm shying away from signing an agreement of 5,000MW?

“If they have enough capacity, why can’t they come together and sign the agreement as Discos and TCN have done. Let them sign their own part of the agreement with us that they will be able to generate 5,000MW and see whether TCN will not be able to evacuate it,” he said.

Senior Manager, Plant Performance, Omotosho (Gas) Power Plant, Onyekachi Nwosu said gas supply challenges remain a major issue to the generation companies.

“There should be more investment in gas supply to guarantee supply to power generators. In our sector, 95 percent are thermal power plants, meaning they use gas. And the challenge has been getting adequate gas to power the plants.

“The next challenge is the issue of the networks both at the transmission and distribution ends. The networks are fragile and that is the importance of this meeting. We are here to plan and ensure that we manage what we have and to ensure that services to consumers are improved on,” he said.