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DISCOs urge government to tackle power transmission challenges

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Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs), have identified low Transmission owing to persistent directive from the National Control Centre (NCC), to Generation Companies (GENCOs), to generate electricity below optimal level as a major hindrance to Nigeria’s drive towards efficient power supply.

The Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Association of Electricity Distributors (ANED), Sunday Oduntan, in a chat with newsmen in Lagos, weekend, said while DISCOs under ANED are not interested in any further controversies in the sector, but will continue to demand for enough power supply for Nigerians.

“We want Nigerians to know that the current distribution capacity of all the 11 DISCOs is 6,288 Megawatts, according to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) stress test conducted in 2015.

“This is not our figure, this is the figure from the TCN side. Now what we are getting from them is far too low than what we are supposed to be getting.”

Last week, Gencos had threatened to shut down their plants over repeated directive by the Control Centre to generate below optimal level.

The GENCOs, according to the Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC), Dr Joy Ogaji, are facing  lower capacity utilisation having to operate their plants far the baseline settings to as low as about 50 per cent of total available capacity.

Using the month of April as a case study, Ogaji disclosed that on a daily basis, GENCOs had an average capacity of 7,484MW, but TCN transmitted only an average of 3985MW, about 53 percent of the available capacity.

For ANED, the implication of this trend in power generation is that DISCOs “are not able to supply enough power to (our) customers, and we are now making Nigerians to be aware that shortage of power supply or lack of power is due to TCN constraints and persistent outages from the TCN interface and the GENCOs have actually confirmed that.”

As a result, Odutan urged the federal government to urgently address the issue of Transmission bottlenecks in the power sector, noting that the development is a negative one for DISCOs’ business in particular, and Nigerians in general.

“What we are currently having is a suppressed tariff regime that is not cost reflective. A tariff that was calculated on the wrong assumption that by 2018, we would be generating over 7,000MW. The absence of that level of generation means that we are having more shortfalls in the market. The situation is now far worse when we are getting far lower than expected from TCN.”


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