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NERC Buffers Grid Supply With 450MW Calabar Plant

To buffer electricity supply to the national grid, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), yesterday stated that the Calabar 450, megawatt power plant will be energised for operations.

NERC explained that the power plant was idle due to gas constraint challenges, adding that the country lost 800MW from Calabar and Alaoji power plants due to unavailability of gas.

In a chat with journalists yesterday, NERC Chairman, Sanusi Garba, also hinted that over one trillion naira had been invested in the power grid, adding that the sector had been afflicted with infrastructure deficit, break down of transmission towers, vandalisation of pipelines and power system which, he said, remained a peculiar problem to the power sector in the country.

The Calabar Thermal Power Station is a 562.5mw gas fired power project. It is located in Cross River State. The project is currently active but plunged into inaction following gas supply constraints. Garba said concerted efforts were ongoing to return all redundant plants back on track.

Many Nigerian cities were thrown into darkness last week after the national grid collapsed. With the lingering fuel crisis and expensive diesel prices, the outage left homes and businesses without electricity.

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The Federal Government at the weekend said it had upgraded the Okpai, Odukpani and Alam VI power plants as part of efforts to improve power supply in the country.

The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, said the government has also directed the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET) to begin negotiations with Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to establish the new Okpai 11 power plant on the grid.

The new power plant will add 400 megawatts of generation capacity, the minister said in a statement. Garba, yesterday, confirmed that five power plants across the South-West region constrained by gas supply would be adding another 600MW to the national grid.

On the Alaoji plant, he said efforts were being made to return it to full activities. He said currently the 504 Megawatts Alaoji Power Plant in Imo State had been shut down following an attack on the gas pipeline of TotalEnergies EP Nigeria Limited.

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

Garba said an eight million metering gap currently exists in the industry but added that there is no time frame to close the gap as there will still be the need for new meters and replacement programmes.

Speaking on the performance improvement plans (PIPs), he stated that NERC has approved five years performance improvement plan and capital expenditure (CAPEX) benchmarks for distribution companies, which is expected to run from July 1, 2021, June 30, 2026.

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He said this would align with the PIPs of the Discos and form the basis for the implementation of the proposed initiatives.

Garba stated that given the capacity of growth, the Discos will require investment in the network to adequately plan for increased demand over the next five years.

It was also revealed that the distribution companies (DisCos) would be spending about N100 billion to boost performance.

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

Source: Guardian

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