FG begins investigation into power system collapse
• Seven NIPPs get operating licences
Minister of Power, Chinedu Nebo on Monday set up a technical investigative panel to look into the operation of the national power transmission system which collapsed last week, the 15th time in five months.
Nebo who inaugurated the 13-member panel headed by Fatai Olapade in Abuja, charged members to come up with a futuristic report that would assist in bridging the huge gap between the power generation and transmission capacity in the Nigerian electricity sector. The report is expected in two weeks.
The Minister, last month, said about $34 billion is needed to bring the country’s transmission network to up to date to handle the various generation plants that are expected come on stream this year.
The panel is to “determine the immediate and remote causes of the system collapses; review all the system collapses that have occurred from January to date; review the performance and effectiveness of the grid’s protection system in the period under review and recommend measures to further strengthen the protection mechanism; and consider any other system collapse related issues”.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) also on Monday granted power generation licenses to seven power plants owned by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited with a combined capacity of 2,758mw.
The seven plants located in Benin, Omotosho, Geregu, Omoku, Gbarain, Calabar, and Egbema are among the 10 power generation companies under the National Integrated Power Projects executed by NDPHC.
NDPHC was last week given the go ahead by the National Council on Privatisation to sell the companies to private investors as part of the power reform process of the federal government.
NERC Chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi said in Abuja during the handover of the licenses that the seven plants would now operate and be monitored like any other firm in the Nigeria electricity market.
He explained that the “licences were given to the Niger Delta Power Holding Company the owners of NIPP. There are seven companies but one person owns the companies. That’s why it’s called the holding company. But the licence goes to each plant and these each plant must be an incorporated company.