The Benin Electricity Distribution Plc. (BEDC) has begun installation of over 10,000 small high performing transformers called High Voltage Distribution System (HVDS) to reduce technical loss and provide better quality of power to customers to enhance reliability.
The company has also developed an action plan towards reducing technical loss through capacity addition by implementing network improvement projects as described in its Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) plans.
This includes the installation of power and distribution transformers, line refurbishment by replacing undersized/damaged conductors and HVDS deployment.
Some of the challenges which it faces in reducing technical losses ranged from; very long 33KV feeders with average length of 100kilometeres each causing high technical loses and poor reliability.
“Revamping of existing 33kv feeders transverse through difficult terrain: thick and mangrove vegetation, flooded and swampy forests with their peculiar vegetation management problems were also challenges”, BEDC said in a statement.
Part of key initiatives taken by the company to improve operational and financial performance include; metering of over 95per cent 11KV feeders and over 120,000 customers including 4,000 covered as backlog at takeover and the introduction of High Voltage Distribution System (HVDS) and pole metering.
Meanwhile, in its bid towards reducing technical loss the management is to vigorously implement load management process to drastically reduce the loss by also balancing the loading of voltage networks to minimize electricity flow in the neutral conductors.
It said for instance, that between 2014 and 2015, BEDC has constructed 10 dedicated feeders for key customers to provide more power and enhance revenue collection.
The company has also emerged tops in metering progress performance rating report amongst Distribution Companies (Discos) carried out by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in its second quarter 2016 state of affairs of the electricity supply industry.
The report, which came on the heels of additional 100,000 metering plan for the remainder 2016 announced at the recent power sector stakeholders it hosted in Benin, according to a statement, showed BEDC scoring 65.30 per cent to emerge overall lead performer in metering progress aspect of the report which indicates the percentage of customers metered.
BEDC had demonstrated its consciousness of the metering gaps existing across its various customer classes and had commenced the process to cover the metering gap for existing customers in its area of operations. The company has been proactive in installation of meters having installed over 120,500 meters since takeover. It has taken advantage of both the Industry CAPMI Scheme and own funded meters. More than 90,000 out of these have been installed in 2016 alone.
In its metering rollout plan for the rest of the year, BEDC plans to achieve 100% metering of all Industrial and Maximum demand customers by the end of November 2016; installation of another 100,000 meters for domestic and commercial customers for the remainder of the year; extension of the existing Automated Meter Reading (AMR) capability to 3,000 maximum demand meters, and metering of at least 1,000 distribution transformers in order to adequately account for energy billing to customers.