Firms, State Dump National Grid For Independent Power Supply
NIGERIA is today generating 3,454 megawatts of electricity, which is said not to be enough for Lagos electricity consumers alone. That indicates a huge gap between demand and supply for the essential product.
It becomes more worrisome when reports say of the 3,454 megawatts, 3,373.45 megawatts are released to the people, through the national grid, but only 2,000 megawatts actually get to the final consumers, as over 1,000 megawatts are lost technically, to worsen the power shortage problem in the country. Nigerians are groaning and industries are closing shops.
Few Nigerians and foreigners are making brisk business from generator merchandise. As there is no hope in sight, many companies have decided to generate their own power to remain in business. The Lagos State government said it would not be left out in the quest to be self reliant in power supply.
Many, including Lagos State government have been embarking on independent power projects, and are now relying on power generated from their power installations for their domestic use. The Independent Power Projects (IPPs) of Lagos State generates 59MW of electricity into the state power grid.
Although that increased supply of electricity to the state, which is currently getting only 1,000MW of the 10,000MW estimated power need, the government demonstrated that with political will, the country can come out of total darkness orchestrated by inadequate power supply. One of the IPPs is located at Alausa to provide electricity to the state’s secretariat and other government agencies in the locality.
The project is Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) driven. It is owned by the state government and Alausa Power Limited (IPL). The plant also runs on environmentally friendly natural gas that is delivered via a pipeline from Gaslink Nigeria Limited’s existing gas distribution grid.
Facilities connected to the Alausa Power Project include the Secretariat, Alausa; Lagos Television (LTV 8); Lagos State Printing Corporation; Lagos Arts & Culture; Office of the Surveyor- General; Proposed Multi-Agency Complex and Staff Quarters I, II and III.
The power plant supplies electricity to a total of 62 public buildings, 156 government departments and over 40 offices, thereby enhancing efficient service delivery at the seat of government and other public institutions without the use of diesel generation sets.
Apart from the Secretariat complex, which includes the Government House, Lagos State House of Assembly and public service offices, the plant also powers streetlights within the area.
Through the Alausa IPP, a total of 120 electric power generating sets, producing 30.9 megawatts of electricity were eradicated. It also caused a reduction of CO2 emissions to 348,670,656 lbs annually. Today, the state government has put in place seven IPPs, with combined capacity of 59 megawatts (MW) .
Besides Alausa IPP, other power plants are Akute Independent Power Plant (12.55MW), Lagos Island one and two Independent Power Plants (10MW), Mainland Independent Power Plant (8.8MW), Lekki Peninsula Integrated Power Project (6MW) and Lekki Free Trade Zone IPP (12MW).
The Island IPP located in Marina is currently serving the General Hospital, Lagos (including the Mortuary & Doctors quarters); Island Maternity Hospital, Massey Children’s Hospital, Lagos State Health Service Commission; High Court of Lagos State, including the court annex at Tafawa Balewa Square; Igbosere Magistrate Court; Lagos House Marina; e-Learning Centre; Lagos City Hall; Freedom Park, the Lagos Waste Management Authority loading center, Dolphin and Onikan Waterworks, several public schools and public lighting installations on 22 Streets within Lagos Island.
The project has moved from the previous 18km length under the first phase to the record 57km coverage under the second phase.
Many private organisations have also joined the league of IPP owners in order to remain in business, as the electricity distribution and generation companies are not making attempt to improve power supply needed to boost economic activities in the country.
The Nigerian Flour Mills had since joined the league of energy producers. It is already generating its own power for its operations, from gas turbines, with installed capacity of 40 megawatts. The management of the mills said it was ready to sell five megawatts to the distribution companies, if given permission to do so.
The company’s electrical manager, Benjamin Rerri, said his company was producing its own power from two gas turbines with installed capacity of 40-megawatts.
He said his company was only producing between 30 and 35 megawatts of the installed capacity of the plant, which he said could be improved for it to go into commercial production of electricity “The installed capacity of our gas turbine is 40 MW, but we are only producing the maximum of 35 MW, and so we have embedded power in there.
We can produce more because we still have space for more installations. We generate at 11kva and that is why we are different from others.
The installed capacity of our gas turbine is 40 MW, but we are only producing the maximum of 35 MW, and so we have embedded power in there. We can produce more because we still have space for more installations. We generate at 11kva and that is why we are different from others
The gas usage is far cheaper than diesel,” he said On the supply of gas, he said: “Gas supply is regular from gas link, but we sometimes have a drop in supply due to the activities of pipeline vandals” The company had earlier sought the assistance of Eko Disco to help in the distribution of its excess power, but it did not work.
The attempt by it to service neighbours at Apapa Port was resisted by the Landlord, the Nigerian Ports Authority, which called the company’s attention to the need for registration as power producer, for it to be able to sell its embedded power.
To join the league of power producers, Lafarge last year signed agreement with Wartsila and IFC to transform WAPCO’s existing 90 megawatts dual-fuel, captive power plant into a 310 MW gas fired and highly efficient internal combustion engine power plant.
The project involves freeing some of the plant’s existing captive capacity and making it available to the national grid. To do this, the company said it would need to construct a new 220 megawatts engine power plant that will be connected to the national grid through a power purchase agreement with the National Bulk Energy Trading Company.
In a recent joint statement by the companies in the power production agreement, they said the “new agreement will triple the output of Ewekoro power plant, improving access of electricity for about 1.4 million households in the country and supporting economic growth” To cushion the effect of epileptic power supply for its members, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has also concluded plans to join the league of electricity producers with the installation of gas turbines in locations where manufactures are in cluster The President of MAN, Frank Udemba Jacobs said last week that the IPP project was conceived years ago, but abandoned, adding that the Association was revisiting the plan again to reduce production cost for members “It is a project that we conceived many years ago, but we discontinued it when they promised to stabilize power supply with privatization of PHCN. But we are trying to go back to the plan again.
We have put in place a committee that will help us actualize this dream for our members in cluster in places like Ikeja, Kano Aba.
The National Electricity Regulatory Commission is aware of our plan and it is encouraging us on it, ”he said Steady supply of electricity has remained a mirage in Nigeria, as the electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) are still grappling with the problems of the sector.
From vandalized gas pipes to lack of credible metering, crazy and estimated billing, to inadequate supply from the generating companies, these problems seem to be defying solution. In the midst of the crises that have plagued the sector, citizens and organisations are now willing to generate, and if possible supply power. However, several hurdles have made their dreams unachievable.
Distribution companies in the country are now adopting the embedded generation policy and have commenced procurement activities of mini grids to serve their customers, without connection to the national grid.
The chairman of National Electricity Regulation Commission, Dr.Sam Amadi, had told The Guardian that any organisation or person that generates more than One MW of electricity would need licensed to sell the excess. Explaining further, yesterday, he said the organization and the distribution companies would need to first agree on rate before approaching the NERC for license. “
The deal is between the organisation and the distribution company they decide to sell to. NERC is only there to ensure the best practice. It is a case between the buyer and seller.
The DISCOs and the organisations involved should reach an agreement on how they intend to sell and at what rate. After an agreement has been reached, then the DISCOs involved can then approach NERC,” he said.