By Etuka Sunday
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola has disclosed that the Federal Government’s N701 billion Payment Assurance Guarantee for the power sector has started yielding the intended results.
This, he said, could be seen from the available quantum of power in the grid, adding that
the N701bn payment assurance guarantee initiated earlier this year was to enhance the realisation of the incremental power policy of the Federal Government.
“Some of the policies that government initiated was the N701bn payment assurance guarantee which has brought some comfort to the production side of power supply.
“Generation companies now felt safer that they could invest and get their money back which will enable them pay their gas suppliers and which will also enable the gas suppliers pay their banks.
“Evidence of the N701 investment is mainly in two things worth reflecting upon: when I visited this place in 2016, only one turbine was running at that time. And the reason was that, there was not gas. So for Geregu I and Geregu II only one turbine was running in each of them out of three turbines combined, making the total six, so we had very minimal capacies. Todday, all the three turbines are running because there is gas,” he said.
According to him, “the new problem now, is that we are managing the operation of the turbines, curtailing them from running to full speed because there is no enough demand at the distribution end to take all the power. So that is the new problem we have. From no power, to increased power that we can’t sell.
Despite the investment on infrastructure by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and Distribution Companies (Discos), the Minister said, there is available power that can’t be distributed to Nigerians, therefore, there was no need for discos play catch interms of capcity.
”We have 7000megawatts of power available, but we are only able to put the part of that to the grid. On Friday 8, December, we reached an all time grid peak supply of 5,155mw, Nigeria has never produce that kind of much power unto the grid, the last it produced was 5, 74mw in January, 2016, after which we went into season of destruction of gas pipelines.
The fact that we can produce 7,000mw but distribute only 5,000mw, leaving 2000mw shows that there is more work to do. One of the reasons, why need to get the 2000mw out is not only because Nigerians need it, but because more power is coming in 2018.
”Azura will give us 450mw in 2018, 10mw from Wind Power in Katsina, 115mw from Gbarain Power in Bayelsa, Kashinbila 40mw, Afarm III will give us 240mw, Gurara is working to gives us 30mw, Dadin Kowa in Gombe will give us 29mw and Kaduna 215mw in 2018,” he said.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Managing Director, Geregu I, Engr. Adeyemi Adenuga said, since taking in 2013, the company has injected
$94billion into the power plant to make it what it is today.
He disclosed that the company can run the three turbines comfortably and efficiently, therefore, requested that the Transmission and Distribution Companies take the available power.