FG Seeks Creative Solution to Deliver 2000MW of Unutilized Power, As Sector Losses N288b Annually through Imported Energy
By Dele Ogbodo
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, on Monday called on all stakeholders of the energy industry to evolve creative solution to the utilization of 2000MW energy that has remain largely stranded.
The minister, who made the disclosure at the 24th Monthly meetings of stakeholders in the industry, was represented by his Minister of State 11, Mr. Suleiman Zarman, said the challenge of the moment is how to deliver the unutilized capacity to consumers who are willing to pay for it and are already paying dearly for other alternatives.
According to him the importation of 300 million of liters of diesel every month to power homes, industries and offices generators is costing the country N288 billion to import electricity annually, even as he said that money would have been better invested into the country’s energy sector.
According to him, more Nigerians, industries and offices generate their own power using imported diesel which has been declining in the last 2 years.
The Minister said: “Many of them use diesel, diesel importation is declining over the last 2 years. Many are reporting that they run their generators for possibly 2 hours.
“Nigerians still consume about 300 million liters of diesel every month most of which is used to power generators. And about 75 percent of the diesel is imported putting pressure on the scarce foreign exchange.
“Assuming that 40 percent of the consumption is used for power generation on an average price of N200 per litre. The electricity industry is losing about N24 billion monthly largely to imported energy.
“At the same time, there is about 2000MW of electricity generating capacity that is unutilized. Therefore, the challenge at the moment is how to deliver unutilized capacity to consumers who are willing to pay and are already paying dearly through the alternatives.”
He said the N701.9 billion payment reassurance represents a creative solution aimed at stabilizing power generation and distribution
In his remarks, the Managing Director, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mr. Usman Mohammed, said between April 2017 when TCN hosted the meeting at NCC in Oshogbo and now, it has invested immensely in grid capacity rehabilitation and expansion, through in-house effort mustered by its engineers.
Mohammed said: “We have also improved on our project implementation capacity which has significantly improved the performance of our contractors.
According to him, the current transmission (wheeling) capacity stands at about 7,124 MW, stressing that as today, one of the 2x100MVA, 132/33KV transformers, recently installed within the capital city of Abuja, was commissioned at Katampe, adding that more substations and power transformers will be commissioned in the next three months.
The TCN boss said: “TCN has concluded plans to procure high capacity conductors to upgrade most of the 132/33kV lines where line limitation has curtailed the utilization of transformer capacities.”
According to him, the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme established by TCN and endorsed by various donors were prepared in line with the 20 -year Transmission Expansion Masterplan, adding that the 5 projects earmarked for implementation under the programme, in the total sum of $1.57 billion, are on track as TCN has sharpened its implementation capacity through four well established, adequately staffed project management units.
Mohammed explained that TCN is working to ensure that all the projects become effective before the end of this year.
Mohammed said: “TCN is working hard to complete many of the on-going projects, funded under the FGN budget. This explains the effect of management in clearing several of the stranded containers.