Power Sector News And Other Related Stories For Monday 25th July 2022
DisCos: Electricity Workers Threaten Strike
The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has threatened to down tools over alleged takeover of Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) and power facilities across the country by commercial banks.
The union in a letter addressed to the Minister of Power, titled ‘Disturbing signals in the power sector-14-day ultimatum’ flayed the take over of DisCos and other power facilities by banks based on perceived defaults to repay loans allegedly borrowed by the distribution firms.
The union said the presence of the banks threatened jobs in the sector and non-payment of salaries and allowances.
The planned workers strike could see Nigerians experiencing total black out for two weeks should government fail to meet the union’s demands at the expiration of the ultimatum.
In the letter signed by its General Secretary, Joe Ajaero, the union called for the exit of the banks, whose presence, he said had been a distraction to the sector.
Blackout Looms as Electricity Workers Join NLC-ASUU Protest
Nigeria may witness another round of blackouts beginning from Tuesday as electricity workers on Sunday insisted that they would join the solidarity protest of the Nigeria Labour Congress/Academic Staff Union of Universities.
Power sector workers under the aegis of the National Union of Electricity Employees made their position known in a letter issued by the General Secretary, NUEE, Joe Ajaero, to the vice presidents of states and administrative councils chapter secretaries of the union.
The letter with reference, NUEE/NS/2022/008, titled, “Nigeria Labour Congress/ASUU Solidarity Protest,” and dated July 22, 2022, stated that electricity workers would join in the protest to kick against the prolonged closure of tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
It read in part, “In line with the NLC’s directive and our position which was made known at the Central Working Committee and National Executive Council meeting of Congress.
“All members of the union are enjoined to massively mobilise and actively participate in the NLC/ASUU solidarity protest against the continued closure of the nation’s tertiary institutions, schedule for July 26/27, 2022.
Labour Issues Strike Notice, Says Banks’ Take-Over of DisCos Worsening Supply Crisis
Organised Labour in the nation’s Electricity sector, has issued a strike notice to the Federal Government, rejecting the take-over of some Electricity Distribution Companies, DisCos, by banks among others.
In a 14 day ultimatum to the Federal Government through the Ministers of Power, Labour and Employment among others, dated July 7, 2022, the Organised Labour contended that “It is obvious that the owners of these DisCos would not have obtained loans from Banks with the DisCos/Facilities as collateral Pre-Privatization and there is no way the Banks will seize DisCos, GenCos or any other Company before take-over under the pretence that they were indebted to them.”
Labour which recalled warning the Federal Government before the Privatisation of assets of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, that those pushing to buy had no financial and technical capacities to run the sector, insisting that it had been vindicated.
FG’s 10,000MW Power Generation Target Under New Threat
THERE were indications, last week that the delivery of 10,000 megawatts, MW, under the revised energy sector plan is set to fail again.
The important project, which sets out the medium-term structural reforms to diversify Nigeria’s economy, with a top priority of expanding power sector infrastructure, initially scheduled for execution between 2017 and 2021, under the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, was extended to December 2022.
But industry experts have indicated that the target might not be realised because of fundamental challenges, including limited investment, lack of adequate infrastructure, poor maintenance, inadequate gas, low water for hydro power stations and increased pipeline vandalism still staring the sector in the face.
Specifically, they contended that the sector currently suffers from inadequate investment, especially as many planned projects have not taken off, thus denying the nation the prospect of generating additional power.
Frequent Power Grid Collapses and Nigeria’s Exhausting Economic Struggles
There was a real threat of a nationwide power outage on Wednesday, July 20, when the perennial epileptic power supply that has dogged the nation’s progress, or lack thereof, from decades past returned in the sixth national power grid collapse in 2022 alone. A situation as dire as the grounding of every economic activity that is dependent on electrical power supply from the country’s generating capacity has become as commonplace as the announcement of weather reports.
At a time when the skyrocketing prices of refined crude oil products are making them beyond the reach of the average Nigerian, the frequency of these collapses means that, without warning, not only are homes and businesses plunged into the daily standardised distribution of darkness, there is often the despondent feeling of uncertainty about when the supply of power will be restored. The by-product of these intermittent shortages in electrical availability is a prolongation of our economical regression, developmental stagnation and the nation’s continued wallowing in the economic backwaters of the continent while countries outside our bracket of capacity and weight outstrip us in developmental indices.
Electricity: Poor Remittance by Discos Creates N67bn Deficit
Failure by 11 electricity distribution companies in Nigeria, DisCos, to fully pay for electricity allocated to them created a deficit of N66.85 billion in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI, in the third quarter of 2021, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has revealed.
NERC in its third quarter report on the sector’s performance stated that while the DisCos were billed N208.54 billion for energy and administrative services by the Nigerian Electricity Bulk Trading Plc and Market Operator, MO, they collectively remitted a total of N141.69 billion (N100.16 billion for NBET and N41.53 billion for MO), translating to a remittance performance of 67.94 percent during the third quarter.
The report added that the remittance was however 17.84 percent higher than the 50 percent remittance rate recorded in the second quarter of 2021.
The report indicated that Eko DisCo recorded 103.29 percent (N20.40 billion) remittance performance while Abuja, Ibadan, Kano, Ikeja, Kaduna and Yola DisCos had remittance performances of 83.24 percent (N23.05 billion), 58.14 percent (N17.50 billion), 49.37 percent (N8.17 billion), 13.35 percent (N2.46 billion) and 21.19% (N0.96 billion) respectively in 2021/Q3.
Industrialist Commends Aba Youths for Protecting Electricity Infrastructure, Arresting Vandals
An Aba-based industrialist, in the commercial nerve centre of Abia State, has commended the youths in various local government areas of the state for taking up the challenge against vandalism of electricity infrastructure which has been on the increase in recent times in the state reputed for indigenous manufacturing.
In a statement at the weekend in Aba, Mr Joseph Onyekachi, stated that the youths who have been assisting security agencies in the state, including staff of Geometric Power which generates and supplies electricity in nine of the 17 local government areas in the state, “are buoyed by sheer patriotism and commitment to the common good to protect the electricity infrastructure in our dear state and work in conjunction with the police and other security and intelligence agencies to safeguard these critical assets”.
Onyekachi who is also the secretary of the Southeast Zone of the Electricity Consumers Association of Nigeria, “recognise that those stealing copper wires and armoured cables of distribution transformers, among other critical components of the electric power supply chain, are compromising their own future.
Reps Summon Ministers, Others Over Planned Sale of Power Plants
House of Representatives has summoned the minister of finance, budget and national planning, Zainab Ahmed, the minister of power, Abubakar Aliyu, the director-general of the Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE), and the managing directors of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company and Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company over the planned sale of five power plants belonging to the three tiers of government.
In separate letters to the agencies, chairman of the House Committee on Finance, Hon James Abiodun Faleke informed that the process initiated for the sale of the power plants was unconstitutional and a disservice to the nation’s development and sharing equity among the three tiers of government.
The letters read in part: “The House of Representatives has observed with grave concern the proposed sale of the 5 National Integrated Power Plants (NIPP) namely Benin Generation Company Limited, Calabar Generation Company Limited, Geregu Generation Company Limited, Olorunsogo Generation Company Limited and Omotoso Generation Company Limited by the Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE) without due regard to constitutional principles and economic policy that informed the establishment of those power plants.
Power Sector and The Obaseki Model
The Edo State House of Assembly has passed a bill to repeal the Rural Electricity Board Law of 1972 to re-enact a new law that makes provision for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity for residents of the state, paving way for the establishment of an electricity market in the state. The Assembly unanimously adopted all six parts of the bill during a session of the committee of the whole on Tuesday, 19th July 2022.
The passed bill provides for the liberalization of the electricity market in the state, allowing for a more pragmatic approach to rural electrification and expansion of distribution infrastructure in the state. The passing of the bill spells better days for electricity consumers in the state, who will now benefit from proper regulation of the electricity sector in the state, which would allow operators a more predictable business environment. In the new regime, electricity providers in the state with Generation License, Independent Electricity Distribution Network License and Eligible Customer (willing buyer-willing seller) approval from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) would reap the full benefit of a liberalized electricity market.
Reps Begin Probe Over Plan to Privatise NDPHC Power Plants
The house of representatives has commenced an investigation into the planned sale of five National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs) by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).
In a letter cited by TheCable, the house committee on finance asked the minister of finance, minister of power, director-general of BPE, managing director of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), and the managing director of the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET), to provide information and documents “for the committees’ determination on the way forward”.
On July 7, Alex Okoh, BPE, said the federal government had pre-qualified 16 firms for the privatisation of the five NIPPs.
On Thursday, the lower legislative chamber asked the BPE to halt the sale of five power plants belonging to the NDPHC.
The resolution of the house was sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Magaji Aliyu, chairman of the house of representatives committee on power.
Reps Summon Finance Minister, Power, BPE, NDPHC Others Over Planned Sale of Power Plants
Nigeria’s House of Representatives has summoned the Ministers of Finance, budget and National Planning, the Minister of Power, over the planned sale of five power plants belonging to the three tiers of government.
Others summoned are the Director General for the Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE), and the Managing Directors of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) and Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company.
In letters to the agencies released to newsmen on Sunday, the Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Rep. James Abiodun Faleke, said the process for the sale was unconstitutional.
He added that it was also a disservice to the nation’s development and sharing equity among the three tiers of government.
The letters read in part: “the House of Representatives has observed with grave concern the proposed sale of the 5 National Integrated Power Plants (NIPP).”
NRG Matters — Egypt, France to Boost Renewable Energy Investments; Saudi Electricity Co. Concludes 380kv Project
RIYADH: On a macro level, Egypt and France have agreed on boosting French investments in renewable energy in the north African country, Al-Ahram reported. Zooming in, Saudi Electricity Projects Development Co. has concluded the electrical interconnection project linking the regions of Qassim and Madinah.
Egypt and France have agreed on boosting French investments in renewable energy in the North African country, Al-Ahram reported.
This comes amid Egypt’s ongoing plans to become a regional energy hub and its transition towards a green economy.
Belgium has reached an initial deal with French utility group Engie to extend the use of nuclear power by 10 years, according to Reuters.
This comes as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine forced the government to rethink plans to rely more on natural gas.
Saudi Electricity Projects Development Co. has concluded the electrical interconnection project linking the regions of Qassim and Madinah, according to Trade Arabia.
Parts of Vaal Left Without Electricity After Eskom Shuts Down Substation Due to Vandalism
The electricity supply in some parts of the Vaal has been affected after Eskom shut down the Seboka substation due to vandalism on Saturday.
According to Eskom, the substation’s control room was vandalised when panel wiring and protection cables were cut. That created a major risk to the transformer, as its protection was compromised, leaving the power utility with no choice but to shut down the substation.
The shutdown was to protect the transformer from further damage, or catching fire, which could result in an explosion, said the power utility.
“The shutdown of the Seboka substation has affected electricity supply to Evaton, Evaton Small Farms, Sebokeng Zones 3, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, and 13.”
Technicians are currently conducting further assessments to determine the extent of the damages and the equipment required for repairs, in order to estimate when supply can be restored to the affected areas.