NERC Confirms Energising Calabar 450MWConfirms Energising Calabar 450MW

…Says More Power Going To The Grid, More Meters Coming

Yemisi Izuora

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), confirmed on Monday that the Calabar 450 Megawatts power plant became operation midnight yesterday.

Also, NERC revealed that a subsidy on power projected to cost N600 billion for the year has been halted.

NERC chairman, Sanusi Garba, told the media in Lagos that the Agency did not carry out any tariff increase but only effected routine tariff received which he said would be carried out quarterly or every six months.

According to him, subsidy on electricity was a policy issue of the Federal Government that had to be brought to an end.

“The role of the commission is to make a determination of the rates that consumers should pay. So we strike a balance between consumers and investors.

“Now, subsidy is a policy issue determined by the government. The government will decide that the rates calculated or agreed by the regulator may at this time not be passed on to consumers. It has happened many times.

“In the past four, five years the level of subsidy has gradually been reduced, because you cannot run the electricity market on life support and say that investors cannot get their return on investment until government steps in to provide the required funding,” he said.

The NERC chairman said the February 1 adjustment was a minor review of tariff, adding that the commission had made it clear on its website that tariffs are for review every six months to take care of the foreign exchange component of cost and also inflation.

He reiterated that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had both insisted that the Nigerian government should end subsidies on electricity and petroleum products as a means of reducing national budget deficit.

Nigeria’s national grid had collapsed twice last week, with many states thrown into darkness. The 2013 unbundling of Nigeria’s power sector that created distribution companies, generation companies, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBETC), have been severally criticized as flawed due to the lingering shortcomings

Operators in the industry blame inadequate funding for the persistent challenges that have affected the industry negatively. The generating companies, for instance, recently blamed the bulk buying company, accusing it of not meeting its obligations for the power it buys from them.

The Calabar Thermal Power Station is a 562.5MW gas fired power project. It is located in Cross River, Nigeria. The project is currently active but plunged into inactions following gas supply constraints.

Garba, said concerted efforts are ongoing to return all redundant plants back on track.

He also, confirmed that five power plants across the South West constrained by gas supply would be adding another 600MW.

On Alaoji, he said efforts are being made to return it to full activities.

He said presently the 504 Mega Watts Alaoji Power Plant in Imo State has been shut down following an attack on the gas pipeline of TotalEnergies EP Nigeria Limited.

Oriental News Nigeria, recalls that the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) Limited disclosed that it has been forced to shutdown after TotalEnergies declared a Force Majeure as a result of the vandalism of NOPL Line at KP41 on January 7, 2022.

TotalEnergies had in a letter to the NDPHC stated: “NOPL pipeline was vandalized on 7th January 2022 at KP41 Alaoma Etche Cluster. The Line Block Valve at KP38 was closed to isolate the sabotage point and depressurization of the line, this will affect gas supply to Alaoji (Power Plant) until further notice”.

As a result of this development, TotalEnergies EP Nigeria Limited stated that “Gas supply to Alaoji Power Plant was suspended due to this unfortunate event. Preliminary investigation to determine the extent of the damage is ongoing, and repair works shall commence as soon as feasible.”

NERC also, said government has begun to receive bids from local meter manufacturers to supply meters under phase 1 of the National Meter Metering Projects which targets installation of 4 million meters under the phase.

Garba, said 8 million metering gap curently exists in the industry but said no time frame to close the gap as there still will be need for new meters and replacement programmes.

It was also learnt at the meeting with the media that the sector had spent over N1 trillion to boost the grid network.

It was also revealed that the Distribution Companies would be spending about N100 billion to boost performance.

Industry data shows that in 2018 the country witnessed 12 system collapse, 9 in 2019, and in 2002, 4 collapses recorded and 2 in 2021 and 2 already recorded this year.

Garba, said the Commission would continue to review tariff in line with its policy.

It was learnt that as at today 3,500MW has been injected into the grid.

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