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Nigeria: Efforts to maintain new peak generation is underway

transmission lines
Nigeria has plans to achieve 6,000MW of generation capacity by the end of December 2015

On Tuesday, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) said that the company has achieved a new peak of 4,748MW of generated power.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Managing Director, System/Market Operation of TCN, Dipak Sarma, This Day Live reported.

According to Sarma, the peak was reached on Monday evening.

He added that: “This has been made possible due to a coordinated effort of TCN with the generating companies and the distribution companies.”

Managing Director of TCN, Paul Stefiszyn said in a statement: “The Federal Government has been supportive in coordinating the activities of the sector across the value chain.’’

Increasing generation target

Subsequently, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has increased its generation target to 6,000MW capacity by the end of December.

NERC held a performance management meeting with generation companies and the TCN to encourage both parties to maintain these results.

According to NERC Chairman, Sam Amadi, the meeting was to assess extant challenges of the generation companies and TCN, in addition to mapping out acceptable performance management mechanisms to sustain their capacities, This Day Live reported.

Amadi said: “This is a performance management meeting for largely generators. We had previously had the one for distribution companies. When people look at the power sector in terms of performance, they must look at how much we are generating now.

“They won’t bother to find out how much are we transmitting now or what we are distributing. The problem of the sector since 2010 has been largely project management, while the problem before 2010 was that of modelling on deciding a move from government to private sector utility.”

Unbundling the sector

Amadi explained:  “We have moved from a vertically integrated government owned monopoly to an unbundled and privatised electricity market. Apart from TCN and the NIPPs we could say all the utilities are private-sector owned; we have solved the modelling problem.

“We have set a benchmark of increasing capacity to 5,000MW. Today we are actually up to 5,000MW or more but the distribution companies are having issues and problem[s] of receiving power, and then frequency problem.

NERC is now meeting with the stakeholders to find a way of reinforcing the technical capacity of the grid to solve [the] frequency issue so we can maintain a steady 5,000MW.”

Key issue for power sector

Amadi claims that performance management has been a real issue for the power sector: “We have set up a fairly good model that will allow us to create sustainable electricity, but the problem is poor project management.

“It includes corruption which is the beginning. If you do procurement or award [a] contract to those who cannot deliver, there is no magic to that. It is a delivery problem. If we have delivered all the NIPP projects, the capacity of existing generation companies, we would have been doing over 8,000MW today.”

He added: “We need to develop the skills to project and deliver even as some of them are budget cycle [related]. Think about TCN, it gives a bill of N50 billion, government appropriates N30 billion, and releases N10 billion. There is nowhere in the world where projects can be completed with that kind of budgeting cycle.

Amadi concluded by saying that the regulator is not working efficiently: “Periodically, we need to bring the project managers of these generation and transmission companies; we have had that with the distribution companies and we are now giving them a template designed by consultants to enable them deliver projects on time and effectively.”

“We want to increase our capacity with the possibility of ending this year with 6,000MW or close to that.”

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.