Power Sector News And Other Related Stories For Tuesday 2nd August 2022
Electricity Distribution Companies Accuse FG of Shortchanging Power Firms
Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) have slammed the Federal Government over the recent takeover/restructuring of 5 distribution companies, claiming that the 11 Discos were shortchanged by BPE when the facilities were privatized in November 2013, while the government failed to pay the N100 billion subsidy on electricity since the privatization of the sector.
The Discos under the aegis of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), while expressing concern on the restructuring of these 5 Discos as announced by BPE on July 5, in collaboration with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), described the move by the Federal government as backdoor renationalization of the power firms.
This was made known by the Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, ANED, Sunday Oduntan, on Sunday, July 31, 2022, when he said that although some of the affected power firms had commenced legal actions against the move, the association viewed the restructuring to be inconsistent with all the guidelines necessary to comply with the framework of privatisation agreements and the rule of law.
FCT Residents Want Improved Power Supply
Business owners and some residents in the FCT have appealed to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) to ensure improved power supply to ease their business operations.
The electricity consumers, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday, decried the poor power supply to their homes and business premises.
According to them, they are only supplied power for five hours in a day.
Miss Ifeoma James, a fashion designer resident in Karu, said that the situation was terrible as she had to rely on generator to operate her business.
“We don’t get electricity up to five hours a day. I have to depend on generator and to even get fuel to power it is difficult as most fuelling stations don’t sell in gallons.
“I usually buy from black market most times and it has not been easy and I don’t want the light issues to affect my business.
EKEDC Seeks Police Support Against Assault on Employees
Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) has solicited the support of the Lagos State Police Command in curbing assault on its employees and vandalism of electrical equipment.
Mr Godwin Idemudia, the General Manager, Corporate Communications, EKEDC, made this known in a statement on Monday in Lagos.
The statement said Dr Tinuade Sanda, the Managing Director, EKEDC, made the appeal during courtesy visits to the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) (Zone 2), Bode Adeleke and the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi.
Sanda said the visits were a continuation of the interaction with key stakeholders in the Disco’s network since she assumed office.
She commended the AIG and the Commissioner of Police for their efforts in keeping Lagos safe.
Sanda said the visits were also to seek collaboration and more support from the Nigerian Police in curbing the assault of staff and the vandalisation of electrical equipment within the Disco’s franchise area.
Concerns Over Safety of Electricity Users, 156 Nigerians Killed, 87 Injured in Power-Related Accidents
In 21 months, spanning January 2020 and September 2021, at least 156 Nigerians were killed while 87 were injured in electricity-related accidents, data from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), has revealed.
The huge number of deaths and injuries, although not fully reported by the victims, bring to the fore the general attitude of the industry players to the safety of electricity users and workers in the sector.
By law, the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA), which was established in 2015, is empowered to carry out the functions of enforcement of technical standards and regulations.In addition, the organisation is empowered to carry out technical inspection, testing and certification of all categories of electrical installations, electricity meters and instruments to ensure an efficient production as well as delivery of safe, reliable and sustainable power supply and guaranteeing safety of lives and property.
Energy Crisis: Nigeria Not Ripe for Nuclear Power Plant —Experts
Despite the power supply challenge facing the country, a move towards setting up a nuclear power plant has been discouraged by energy experts who cited Nigeria’s poor maintenance culture and insecurity as reasons.
Speaking at Nextier Power Dialogue in Abuja which focused on nuclear power plants as an option for the country, the experts said Nigeria should concentrate on expanding the national grid to efficiently transmit and distribute the 13,000 Megawatts installed capacity available in the country.
The national grid currently has the capacity to transmit about 5,500MW. Nigeria plans to set up a 1,000MW nuclear power plant with Kogi and Akwa Ibom States selected as possible sites.
The former Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi who spoke on the panel pointed out that while it was good to look into the future and find options that will increase the energy mix, a nuclear power plant was not the way to go at the moment.
Benin Prison Escapee, One Other Arrested for Electricity Cable Theft in Ogun
One Festus Okoeguare, who reportedly escaped from the White House Correctional Centre, Benin in 2020, has been arrested alongside one Nancinant Paul Joshua for allegedly vandalising and stealing electricity cable.
DAILY POST recalls that the Benin correctional centre in Edo State was broken into during the violent EndSARS protest, leading to the escape of some criminals, who were never apprehended.
The two suspects were arrested on July 16 by the Ogun State police command following information received by policemen at Ogbere police divisional headquarters.
The police had been informed that the power installation at Hallmark University junction along Sagamu-Benin highway had been vandalized by some hoodlums.
Upon the information, the DPO of Ogbere division mobilized to the scene alongside officers, in collaboration with men of the Amotekun Corps.
Nigeria’s Energy Crisis is Getting Worse
FROM Nigeria’s energy sector, the bad news is coming in torrents. Banks and regulators have moved in on five electricity distribution companies, diesel and aviation fuel prices have risen four-fold, threatening businesses, and the cost of subsidising petrol is climbing even higher despite an official increase in pump head price. Earlier, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, had said that about 62 per cent of citizens – over 120 million persons – lacked access to electricity. Effective measures are therefore needed fast to save the economy.
The lacklustre imprint of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), is all over the energy sector. The sole national electricity transmission grid has crashed six times this year; from wheeling 3,900 megawatts, it recently fell to as low as 3MW! Battered by shortages and higher prices of diesel, lubricants and electricity tariff, the organised private sector warned of further impending factory closures and job losses.
Airlines have raised airfares in response to the multi-fold increases in aviation fuel prices and shortages. Many have reduced flight frequencies and similar fears of shutdowns have been voiced.
Fuel Crisis Cuts Electricity in Bangladesh, Sparking Energy Debate
Robiul Islam, 29, sits in the dark at his home in the Kalurghat neighbourhood of Chattogram city, suffering through yet another power cut, as Bangladesh struggles with costly and inadequate natural gas imports amid a global hike in energy prices.
“Over the last two months, we are seeing power outages that we have not seen in quite a few years,” Islam told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.
The South Asian nation boasts an electrification rate of 97 per cent – meaning nearly all of its population has access to electric power – and has increased its total power generation capacity to 25,700 megawatts (MW), against peak demand of about 15,000 MW.
But since June, the country has seen a return of frequent power outages, or “load-shedding”, as the government tries to keep down rising fuel costs.
Nasrul Hamid, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources, wrote in a Facebook post that with energy prices soaring on the world market due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Bangladesh is experiencing a shortage in its gas supply that is hampering electricity generation.
Electricity Users on The Island of Newfoundland Have Started Paying for Muskrat Falls
With their July electricity bill, Newfoundland Power customers have begun paying for Muskrat Falls, though bills haven’t significantly increased — yet.
In a July newsletter, Newfoundland Power said electricity bills were set to decrease by 6.4 per cent as part of the annual rate stabilization adjustment, which reflects the cost of electricity generation.
Instead, that decrease has been offset by a 6.1 increase in electricity rates so Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro can begin recovering the cost of Muskrat Falls, the $13-billion hydroelectric megaproject that is billions over budget and years behind schedule.
That means for residential customers, electricity rates will decrease to 12.346 cents per kilowatt, though the basic customer charge will go up slightly from $15.81 to $15.83. According to an N.L. Hydro spokesperson, about six per cent of electricity bills will now go toward what it calls a “rate mitigation fund.”
The spokesperson said N.L. Hydro is expecting the rate increase to result in $43 million this year — a tiny fraction of the project’s cost.
Earlier Measures Have Ensured Energy Supply and Stabilised Wholesale Electricity Prices: MTI
Measures taken by the authorities so far have helped to ensure uninterrupted energy supply and stabilised wholesale electricity prices here, said Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng in Parliament on Tuesday (Aug 2).
This means there is no need to bring the electricity market under state control within the short to medium term, he added in response to a parliamentary question.
The measures include setting up standby fuel facilities which generation companies, or gencos, can draw from to generate electricity when their natural gas supplies are disrupted. Authorities also required gencos to bolster their own stockpile of fuel.
Dr Tan noted that the world has been facing an energy crunch since last September, with global gas prices increasing significantly.
Global energy markets are set to remain “volatile and elevated”, given the protracted conflict in Ukraine and a seasonal increase in energy demand from countries during the upcoming winter.