NIGERIA – Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) has detailed its activities and achievements for insights into the workings of the firm.
NDPHC was set up as a fast track power sector infrastructure development company in 2005 with a mandate to manage the power projects under the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) scheme of the three tiers of government (Federal, States and Local).
It is an emergency intervention scheme to tackle the deficit and expand power sector infrastructure in the country. The company’s key mandate was to develop 10 power plants with a designed ISO capacity of 5,067MW, 102 transmission lines and substations projects and over 291 distribution- injection sub stations and gas infrastructure with over 22,000 completely Self Protected transformers among other critical projects. So far the company has completed about 4,015MW of this designed capacity representing about 80% of this mandate and has also made remarkable input in Transmission, Distribution and Gas infrastructure.
In power generation, 8 of the 10 power plants in the NIPP portfolio, along with associated gas transmission metering/receiving infrastructure projects to support commercial operation, have been commissioned and connected to the national grid contributing over 22,000,000kWh of energy daily subject to availability of gas.
NDPHC has continued to operate these power plants in the interest of the Nigerian economy, despite undesirable security challenges and an accumulated debt owed it by the electricity market. NDPHC contribution represents about 30 per cent of power requirement in the grid despite the huge debt of over N121billion owed NDPHC by the Electricity Market.
NPDHC has over 3,000MW of generation capacity available for deployment if the grid permits and this represents the best opportunity for the rapid improvement of power supply to the teaming Nigerians. It is important to note that completed power plants include 750MW Olorunsogo II, 450MW (Ogorode) Sapele, 434MW Geregu II, 450MW Omotosho II, 450MW Ihovbor, 450MW Alaoji, 563MW Calabar and 225MW Gbarain. The 225MW Omoku, 338MW Egbema and 530MW Alaoji steam machines would wrap up the total available capacity of the plants to 1,774MW on full completion. Many of the NIPP power plants on the national grid also provide ancillary services like spinning reserve to support the system operations, a contribution critical for stabilizing the national grid.
The NDPHC has completed 2,194km of 330kV transmission lines and 809km of 132kV transmission lines. This represents an increase of 46% and 13% respectively over the pre-NIPP status of grid infrastructure. A total of 10 new 330/132kV substations and 7 new 132/33kV substations have also been completed with several other existing substations significantly expanded thereby adding 5,590MVA and 3,313MVA capacity to the national grid.
NIPP contributions to the transmission grid system have transformed the hitherto radial 330kV/132kV grid into a more robust grid system with significant provision of alternative power flow routes which now serve as redundancies and which has resulted in a more reliable and stable Nigerian grid. Of note in these respects are the commissioning of the over 220km long 330kV Double Circuit (DC) lines providing alternative thermal power into Abuja and the FCT from Geregu, through a new Lokoja substation, a new Gwagwalada substation into the existing TCN Katampe and Apo substations with several significant expansion works on existing substation developments along this route.
Another is the remarkable 330kV transmission backbone that provides several 330kV DC transmission line spurs from power plant zones in Calabar, Alaoji, Afam and Ikot Abasi into a switching hub at Ikot Ekpene. From this hub long DC lines emanate to flow power from these southern based power generation centers to Jos and the far North East through Ugwuaji and Makurdi in Enugu and Benue states. With the commissioning of about 95% of this grid backbone in November 2016, the Nigerian Transmission Grid bid a firm and final goodbye to the radial grid era and entered into a new hitherto unattainable level of grid security, reliability and stability that has seemed elusive since the commencement of Nigerian grid operations in 1969. The completion of the majority of the balance of works on this grid backbone is fast going on and scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017.
The statistics of NIPP contribution to overall transmission system growth and reliability with improvements in transformation capacity, is progressively increasing each day as the balance of NIPP Transmission projects are being delivered. The company invested in critical transmission and distribution infrastructure needed to evacuate the electricity generated into the national grid and distribute the same to end users. The projects NDPHC has executed in that regard include the expansion of thirty-six Transmission Company of Nigeria’s 330kV and 132kV substations across the country.
Others are construction of 1,635Km of 330kv Double Circuit lines; 720km of 132kV Double Circuit lines; 10 new 330kV substations; 7 new 132Kv substations; 6,150MVA of 330/132kv transformation capacity; 2,800MVA of 132/33kV transformation capacity; and the provision of over 25,000 complete self-protection (CSP) transformers.
In November 2019, the Minister of Power commissioned the 12-circuit Ikot-Ekpene 330KVA Switching Station and the associated transmissions lines with a total of about 285KM completed by the NDPHC management. These projects are now assisting in evacuating into the national grid, electricity hitherto stranded in the Eastern Delta.
In the electricity distribution segment, NDPHC has constructed and commissioned over 350 injection substations with a combined capacity of 3,540MW across the length and breadth of Nigeria. NDPHC has further constructed a total of 2,600km of 11kV and 1,700km of 33kV distribution lines for improving access to electricity and quality of power supply to consumers. The nation’s distribution capacity has also been enhanced by the installation of 25,900 completely self-protected (CSP) transformers all over the country thereby significantly reducing technical losses. Under the NIPP program, the capacity of 33/0.415kV and 11/0.415kV has been increased by 26%. The NIPP is designed to increase the number of 33/0.415kV & 11/0.415kV substations by 163% all the projects are nearing completion.
NDPHC in January 2017, launched the Solar Home Systems (SHS) project, which is anchored on the Presidential Initiative on Rural Solar Home Lighting Systems aimed at extending power to rural communities across the country without any form of access to electricity from the national grid tagged “NDPHC Beyond The Grid”, The company through its long term experience in developing power projects, has identified many rural communities in the six geo-political zones of the country where these solar projects will be implemented.
NDPHC deployed 200 units of the SHS (Solar Homes Systems) as pilot programme at Wuna village in FCT. The units will be deployed within a period of 12 months. In addition to the SHS unit, NDPHC’s solar project is also directed at auditing and re-activating 1,073 solar powered boreholes. Two of these boreholes are in the Wuna community and are the first to be repaired and have provided access to clean water for the community.
NDPHC has installed 150 MVA transformers at Asaba 330/132 KV transmission sub-station. This transformer was initially installed and energised in February 2015. It failed in circuit in May 2016 and several investigations and tests were carried out to rectify the fault. This transformer was eventually re-energised and put in grid on Thursday 23rd March, 2017 after it was technically certified by the technical team of NDPHC, Engineering & Procurement consultants (EPC) contractors and the Project Consultants (PC).
This development at the Asaba transmission Sub-station will enhance power supply to Asaba and its environs including the overloaded Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) transformer at Onitsha which currently services the entire Asaba and its environs.
It is worthy of note that the National Integrated Power Project is the largest single intervention in power infrastructure in Africa and the implementation has not been without challenges which includes community restiveness, security situation in the Niger Delta region. Such challenges are not unexpected in the process of executing multi-billion dollar projects in emerging economies like Nigeria.
It is important to note that under the current administration, NDPHC current management believed in dialogue and has engaged stakeholders at all levels in resolving some community issues to progress projects delivery and power to Nigerians. NDPHC engaged the Oronta Community in Abia State and the issue was settled out of court and paved the way for contractors to resume work on the Transmission Line.
Similarly, the management engaged the Governors of the eastern region especially the Enugu State Governor with a view to solicit his support and that of his colleagues from the region in resolving community issues in the Eastern region where projects delivery is being threatened. In Calabar, Management was able to resolve community issues affecting operation and evacuation of Power from Calabar Power Station. The resolution of this community crisis made possible the evacuation of power from Calabar Power Station. The Power Plant currently contributes 380MW through 330KV line into the Grid.
In its quest to ensure steady gas supply to Calabar Power Station, NDPHC signed a Partial Risk Guarantee (PRG) with the World Bank to ensure regular Gas Supply to Calabar Power Generation Company. The PRG which amounts to $112million is a form of securitization for Gas Supply under the Gas Sale Agreement (GSA) between NDPHC/Calabar Generation Company Limited and Accugas. This is for a period of 9 months during which about 500MW additional electricity will be wheeled to the grid for the benefit of Nigerians.
To ensure accountability in the system, due process as a cardinal tool in the operations of NDPHC was resuscitated and became effective as the current management saw the need to streamline the work process at all levels with strict compliance with due process and approval limit. Meetings/interaction with the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) were also explored for this purpose in line with the focus and policy thrust of the current Federal Government.
In line with government economic blueprint, reviews and new strategy are adopted for the completion of the privatization of NDPHC Power Stations which occupy a front burner of government policy and to that effect three Power Stations in Calabar, Geregu and Omotosho in Cross River, Kogi and Ondo States respectively are being concluded as a first phase of this strategy. This process is being pursued with great vigor in 2017 with the target of completing the privatization of the remaining plants bearing in mind that preferred bidders for these plants have already emerged for 80 percent share sales.
With an overall level of completion of projects in excess of 80%, the balance of which are on the verge of completion, the NDPHC has delivered on its mandate of providing robust power infrastructure for the nation.
In conclusion, in spite of the feat recorded by NDPHC/ NIPP in an environment where this is anathema, the power throughput in Nigeria remains at about 12GW at generation level, 5.5GW at Transmission level and about 5GW at Distribution level, a situation that has restricted the improvement of service delivery at the last mile to consumers. In recognition of the subsisting gaps in power infrastructure, the Board and management are poised to doing a lot more for our country under NIPP phase II for the nation to benefit from a world-class transmission infrastructure and a more diversified generation-mix underpinned on the utilization of alternative sources of power generation including renewables.
Finally, under the initiative, the NDPHC/ NIPP plans to close the infrastructure deficit arising from the continued growth of the economy and gaps associated with other critical stakeholders in the power value chain.