Power Sector News and Other Related News Stories For Monday September 19th 2022
Interim BEDC Management Retakes Power Firm Amid Tussle with Osibodu-Led Investors
The Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) was at the weekend retaken by the interim management backed by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Federal Ministry of Power.
NERC, the sector’s regulator had on September 3, 2022, thrown its weight behind the interim board comprising Messrs Henry Ajagbawa, K.C Akuma, Adeola ljose, Charles Onwera and Yomi Adeyemi.
The core investors who were said to have defaulted on the loan repayment to a consortium of banks had earlier forcibly dislodged the interim board and management.
But in new videos emerging from the scene of the takeover, it was observed that a coordinated team comprising mainly policeman, retook the Disco despite the protest from Mrs. Funke Osibodu-led BEDC management.
Akwa Ibom Group Calls for End to Estimated Billing in Nigeria
An apex socio-cultural organisation in Akwa Ibom state, Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio, has called for an end to the estimated billing of electricity consumers in the country.
The stand of the organisation was contained in a communiqué, issued after the September 22 meeting of the group, held at its international headquarters, Sir Udo Udoma House, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The communiqué was signed by Akparawa James Edet, International President and Akparawa (Elder) Bassey Bassey, Secretary General.
The meeting which was presided over by the 11th International President of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio, Akparawa James Edet, was attended by the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Power and Petroleum, Akparawa John James Etim, who was invited to address the Mboho’s Parliament on the activities of his Ministry and also highlight the significant milestones of the State government in the Power and Petroleum sector.
The group demanded that the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) significantly improve upon its rather poor services to its customers in the State.
Pandemonium as Soldiers Swoop on Osun Communities Over Protest Against IBEDC, Blackout
There was pandemonium when soldiers were drafted to stop a protest embarked by three communities in Osun State against Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) over lack of electricity supply.
Aggrieved members of Alatise, Ilupeju and Ijaregbe communities in Ilesa and Obokun Local Councils of the state had marched on Friday to the office of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), accusing them of disconnecting their transformers from the national grid.
During the demonstration, some of the protesters were said to have sustained injuries as armed soldiers swooped on them.
The Guardian learnt that the management of IBEDC allegedly deployed military officers to disperse their protesting customers for allegedly holding some of its staff hostage for hours when they besieged the Ilesa IBEDC office to demand that electricity be restored to their communities.
PHED to Meter Over 80 Percent of Customers
The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) has announced plans to meter over 80 per cent of its customers in Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Cross River states by December.
The new Managing Director of PHED, Dr. Benson Uwheru, while speaking yesterday with stakeholders, disclosed that 60 percent of its customers in the franchise areas have already been metered; revealing plans were underway to increase the percentage by December.
This follows complaints by some customers in these states that despite registering and paying for meters, they were yet to be metered.
Uwheru said: “About 60 per cent of our customers are metered. What this means is that about 40 per cent of our customers are un-metered.
“Our plan is to ensure that we meter all the customers in our database. We are in talks with various financial institutions for asset financing programmes to procure meters for our customers, with the payment plan spread over a period.
FG Accuses Former Benin DisCo Mgt of Interference
The Federal Government, through its Bureau of Public Enterprises, on Sunday, said the former board and managing director of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company was using non-state actors to disrupt activities at the power firm.
It said this might lead to blackouts in the four states where BEDC distributes electricity. The four states include Delta, Edo, Ekiti and Ondo.
The BPE said Vigeo Holding, having defaulted on its loan facilities and collateralised controlling shares in BEDC, lost ownership in the entity.
A restructuring action had been announced on July 5, 2022 by BPE and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission for Kano, Kaduna, Benin and Ibadan Discos.
Following the restructuring, Fidelity Bank stepped in to the board of BEDC, leading to the appointment of an interim management by BPE and NERC to stabilise the entities and avert any operational issue.
BPE Fears Ownership Tussle Over BEDC May Plunge Edo, Delta, Ekiti, Ondo into Darkness
More than two months after the federal government appointed an interim chief executives for three electricity distribution companies (Discos) considered ‘non-performing’, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has expressed concern that non-state actors allegedly engaged by the former board and managing director to disrupt the affairs of the Benin Distribution Company (BEDC) could plunge four states into darkness, if left unchecked.
The states which are Delta, Edo, Ekiti and Ondo are under the BEDC franchise.
In what they described as Business ‘Continuity Process’, the BPE and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had in July appointed interim Managing Directors for the BEDC, Kano Distribution Company and Kaduna Distribution Company, after announcing the takeover of the three ‘non-performing’ Discos by Fidelity Bank occasioned by, “the power investors’ poor financial performance.”
Governors Decry 5% Allocation of Electricity Grid to North East
The Northeast Governors’ Forum (NEGF) has decried the state of power supply in the region which it gets only five per cent of electricity from the national grid.
The forum expressed its view in a communique issued at the end of its meeting in Gombe on Friday
Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni who read the communique said the region accounts for 14 per cent of the country’s population and 30 per cent of the nation’s landmass, adding that the five per cent power supply allocated to it was inadequate.
“The forum, again expressed concern on the parlous state of power supply in the North-east region, which at present receives less than 5 per cent of national allocation of grid energy while accounting for 14 per cent of the population and 30 per cent of landmass.
“While noting the direct correlation between energy, security and high level of poverty and our GDP status, it called on the federal government to introduce innovative strategies by investing in the production of comparatively cheaper hydropower and renewable energies.
NUEE Seeks Power Sector Privatisation Reversal
The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has urged the Federal Government to reverse the privatisation of the nation’s power sector, describing new owners of the privatised companies as ‘hustlers’ and ‘hawks’ that have contributed poorly to the power sector.
The body also accused the new owners of deceiving the Federal Government into paying N2 trillion subvention, insisting that they have continued to impoverish Nigerians, leaving the country pillaged.
They claimed that despite recognisable improvements in the wheeling capacity of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, (TCN) of 7,000 megawatts, the generation output has dwindled below 5,000 megawatts.
They pointed at the activities of the new owners as part of reasons the power sector has almost gone comatose and the impoverishment of the average worker in the sector.
The Zonal Organising Secretary (Liaison), Kolade Ayodele, at a media parley said Nigerians should also be worried even as electricity tariffs continue to rise without commiserate service delivery.
How Nigeria Got UK, 5 Others On 461mw Azura Power Project – CEO
Engineer Edu Okeke is the Managing Director of Azura Power West Africa, the operator of the 461 megawatts Azura Edo Power, near Benin, Edo State. In this interview, he speaks about the rationale behind investments in the company by six countries – the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands and France-with support from the World Bank.
The Azura Edo power plant is the latest facility in Nigeria, what is its capacity?
The installed capacity of the plant is 461MW but given the conditions in Nigeria and the national grid system, our actual capacity test is 452MW and we have continually delivered this to the grid. By next year, we will do the major inspection and Siemens will dismantle the blade and do the maintenance which happens every four years.
We act as a stabiliser for the grid and if we turn off the Primary Frequency Influencer (PFI), TCN transmission grid will collapse. We are one of the few Generation Companies (GenCos) that have this frequency manager. The grid frequency should be at 50 Hertz and if load goes high, it can go up and if load drops, it can go down so what the PFI does is to manage this grid by increasing generation or reduce generation automatically to stabilise the grid.
Nigeria Partners with France to Boost Electricity Supply
The Nigerian government and the French Development Agency (AFD) have signed a grant agreement of €25 million for the Northern Corridor Project jointly funded by the European Union and the AFD.
The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, and the AFD Country Director in Nigeria, Xavier Muron, signed the agreement Wednesday in the presence of the Ambassador of France to Nigeria, Emmanuelle Blatmann, and the Head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Cecile TASSIN-PELZER.
The Northern Corridor Project, being implemented by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), is meant to strengthen low-carbon economic growth in West Africa by improving the quality of the electricity network in Nigeria and supporting the development of a regional electricity market under the West African Power Pool (WAPP).
Discos Again Seek Power Price Hike Under FCA of August
The power tariff is again likely to be increased as the Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA) has filed an application with NEPRA seeking power tariff increase by Rs0.22 per unit, it was learnt on Saturday.
According to the details, CPPA on behalf of power distribution companies (DISCOs) except K-Electric has asked the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) to approve Rs0.2192 per kilowatt hour (kWh) under FCA of August, 2022.
NEPRA will conduct a hearing in this regard on September 29. Once approved, the increase will put an additional burden on already burdened power consumers.
The CPPA, in its application, has submitted that the total electricity generated with various fuels in the month of August was recorded at 14,052.59 GWh, at a basket price of Rs10.0587 per unit. The total cost of energy was Rs141,351 million.
The power generation with hydel source was 5,353.69 GWh (giga watt per hour) constituting 38.10 per cent while power production with coal-fired power plants was 2,163.01 GWh which was 15.39 per cent of the total generation at a price of Rs20.5441 per unit and power generation with RFO was 1,021.38 GWh 7.27 per cent of total generation calculated at Rs35.6145 per unit.