Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) have faulted the National Control Centre’s (NCC’s) directive to generation companies (GenCos) to generate electricity below optimal level.
They said it is a major hindrance to the nation’s drive towards efficient power supply. This, they argued, is because of the low transmission capacity in the country.
Association of Electricity Distributors (ANED) Research and Advocacy Executive Director, Mr. Sunday Oduntan, who spoke with reporters in Lagos at weekend, said while DisCos and its umbrella body, ANED were not interested in any controversies in the sector, ANED would continue to demand adequate power supply for Nigerians.
He said: “We want Nigerians to know that the distribution capacity of all the 11 DisCos is 6, 288megawatts (Mw). This is according to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) stress test that was conducted in 2015.
“This is not our figure, this is the figure from the TCN side. Now, what we are getting from them is far too low than what we are supposed to be getting.”
Only last week, the GenCos threatened to shut their plants over repeated directives by the NCC to generate below optimal level.
Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC) Executive Secretary, Dr Joy Ogaji, said the GenCos were facing lower capacity utilisation having to operate their plants far from the baseline settings to as low as about 50 per cent of total available power capacity.
Citing last April, Ogaji said daily, the GenCos had an average capacity of 7, 484 Mw, but that the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) transmitted only an average of 3985 Mw, about 53 per cent of the available capacity.
ANED said the implication of this trend in power generation is that DisCos “are not able to supply enough power to (our) customers and we are now making Nigerians to be aware that the shortage of power supply or lack of power is due to TCN’s constraints and persistent outages from the TCN’s interface. The GENCOs have actually confirmed that”.
Oduntan urged the government to address the transmission bottlenecks, noting that the development is negative for DisCos’ business and customers.
He said: “What we are having is a suppressed tariff regime that is not cost reflective. A tariff that was calculated on the wrong assumption that by 2018, we would be generating over 7,000Mw. The absence of that level of generation means that we are having more shortfalls in the market. The situation is now far worse than when we are getting far lower than expected from TCN.”
Meanwhile, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) said it has invested over N11.5 billion in metering, network upgrade and rehabilitation, among others.
Its Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. John Donnachie, who spoke through the firm’s Chief Operating Officer, Mr. John Ayodele, spoke when the management took business and energy reporters on facility tour of the DisCo in Ibadan at the weekend.
Some of the facilities visited include the Asset and Customer Enumeration, Raymond Zard’s 500mva transformer, Ibadan North 15mva injection substation and a warehouse with uninstalled customer meters and statistical meters for transformer including supplies from a local manufacturer – Momas Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company Limited (MEMMCOL).
Donnachie said: “As part of our unwavering commitment to our mission to distributing power, changing lives, we have in the past six months invested over N11.5 bllion in major capital projects. These span across our franchise area covering – Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Kwara; parts of Kogi, Niger and Ekiti States.
“These projects are major game changers for IBEDC as a business and for our esteemed customers, which have significantly improved our service delivery, quality and quantity of power supply”.
He said: ‘’Recently, we commenced the procurement and supply of 10,000 distribution transformer (DT) meters at a cost of N4billion. These DT Meters will greatly reduce the challenge of estimated bills and ensure customers without meters are billed more accurately through its energy audit, accounting functionalities, and above all, assist in our technical, commercial and collection (TC&C) losses.
“In line with reducing the incidence of estimated bills, we have commenced our meter roll out with a first batch of 48,470 energy meters of various ratings and capacities. This includes 35,000 single-phase, 12,000 three-phase, 1,470 whole current, C.T-Operated and Statistical Meters all at a sum of N3.1 billion, ahead of the meter asset provider (MAP) initiative being finalised by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the DisCos.
“The continuous metering of maximum demand (MD) customers is also in place with the deployment of 13 high voltage energy meters and delivery of 912 low voltage maximum demand energy meters at a cost of N405 million. To further support the huge metering expenditure, we have invested extensively in the supply and installation of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) systems at over N1 billion, this investment is critical to optimally implement the functionalities of DT Meters. As we speak, we have recently received 95 per cent of credited advance payment for metering implementation (CAPMI) meters for deployment for those that paid.
“To further reduce safety related accidents and to achieve Vision Zero and Safety Culture of IBEDC, the Board has awarded a whopping sum of N1.47 billion for a major overhaul of the Health, Safety and Environment department. The project will deliver on over 60 critical need areas with major focus on procurement and deployment of PPEs, IPEs, signages, labels and symbols. Furthermore, the project is expected to map the layouts of 114 substations to develop conceptual site models, training on emergency techniques, solid waste and hazardous management programme, production of occupational health and safety environmental policies and framework for all technical and non-technical staff. In addition, it will, ultimately, aid us in attaining the certification required, thereby making us an internationally recognised health hazard compliant organisation,” Donnachie said.
The ongoing Asset and Customer Enumeration estimated at N5 billion has started across the franchise and is scheduled for completion early next year.