Buhari Administration’s Giant Strides: The Electricity Sector in Focus

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By Etuka Sunday

One of the first in a series of giant strides in the electricity power sector taken by the Buhari administration was the commissioning of a 330KV Switching Station built by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) under the National Independent Power Project (NIPP) in Essien Udim, Ikot-Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State.
So much has been said about power generated but stranded and not reaching electricity consumers. The NIPP superintended by the NDPHC has over 3,000mw of generation capacity available for deployment to the national grid. However much less is distributed. This station commissioned at Ikot Ekpene was to reduce the amount of electricity stranded and unable to get to the national grid from power plants in the east.
This commissioned station now helps evacuate power from four power plants: Ibom Power, Calabar Power, Alaoji Power, and Afam Power through to Ugwuaji in Enugu and then Makurdi up to Jos. Calabar Power Plant has been running two units simultaneously for two years, with 1200MW evacuation line in place through Ikot Ekpene. This feat was the first power flow along the Eastern flank axis, which marked the beginning of the end of stranded power constraints in the southern and eastern axis of the grid.
When power plants were built but without providing them necessary gas, the issue of stranded power would arise. Most of the plants were ready to work, but fuel was lacking.
President Buhari also appointed a new management executive team for the NDPHC to carry out the administration’s mandate. The new Managing Director, Chiedu Ugbo, is a self-effacing achiever with decades long experience in the power sector. The NDPHC under his watch has in the last three years added huge MVA capacity to the national grid. Its overall contribution to the transmission and distribution infrastructural system is increasing daily just as it still majors on power generation.
Confronting challenges in the power sector by this administration has taken a huge political will. Gas contracts with bank guarantees, unprecedented, have been signed. There was remarkably early in the administration of the signing of an agreement for a Partial Risk Guarantee {PRG} between the NDPHC and the World Bank to secure the supply of about 130 million cubic feet per day of gas to NIPP Calabar plant by a private gas supplier, Seven Energy. This agreement was the first of its kind for gas in Nigeria.
Cross Section of Power sector Quick Fixes between 2016 and Now.
Based on its commitment for prompt action in the energy sector, the Buhari administration provided the muscle for speedily success of the following.
On the shortage of gas to the NIPP power stations in the Western Delta – Ogorode, Benin (Ihovbor), Omotosho and Olorunsogo, the administration’s intervention and resolution of the Niger Delta crises led to improvement in gas supply to the power stations in this western flank.
On the inadequate transmission capacity to evacuate power from the Eastern Delta plants, there was the quick completion of the 12 circuit 330KV Ikot-Ekpene switching station and the dual circuit 330kV transmission lines from both the Alaoji and Calabar power stations. There was also the completion of the first circuit (line 2) of the Ikot-Ekpene to Ugwuaji four circuit 330KV.
On the inadequate gas pipeline infrastructure in the Eastern Delta (Alaoji and Calabar), there was the completion of the NOPL by Total for gas supply to Alaoji Power Station and the completion of the Seven Energy dedicated pipeline from Uquo field to Calabar Power Station.
Magboro and its environs in Ogun state after 17 years of non-supply was in 2017 delivered electric power by the effort of the Chiedu Ugbo led Niger Delta Power Holding Company {NDPHC}. Also there was electricity power connection at Egbema and Okija Communities in Imo and Anambra State respectively. NDPHC completed a distribution line for Ibadan DisCo to consolidate the supply of electricity to communities in its franchise area.
Recently Completed Transmission Substations (SS) & Lines.
Recently completed projects include the 330kV Ikot Ekpene Switching Station; 330kV DC Alaoji – Ikot Ekpene Transmission Line; 330kV DC Calabar – Ikot Ekpene Transmission Line; 2x150MVA, 330/132kV & 2x60MVA, 132/33kV Gwagwalada SS; 330kV DC Gwagwalada – East Main Transmission Line; 132kV DC East Main – Kukwaba – Apo Transmission Line; 1x60MVA, 132/33kV Lokoja SS; 330kV DC Ajaokuta – Lokoja – Gwagwalada Transmissin Line; 1 x 300MVA, 330/132kV Alagbon SS; 1x300MVA, 330/132kV Lekki SS; 1 x 330kV DC Ikot Ekpene – Ugwaji Transmission Line (2)
Distribution
Distribution projects totaling 296 have been completed plus 33/11kV distribution injection substations; 1,712 Km of 33kV Lines ; 4,540 Km of 11kV Lines; 24,996 completely self-protected transformers. A total of 3,970MVA injection substation capacity was added; 1,212MVA CSP transformation capacity was also added
Intervention projects – Distribution.
The need to strengthen the nation’s distribution assets saw the NDPHC under the Buhari administration intervening to deliver a number of 78 iintervention projects. There were added over 544Km of 33kV Lines; over 130Km of 11kV Lines; 199 distribution transformers (100KVA, 200KVA, 300KVA, 500 KVA); 148MVA injection substation capacity was added; 108MVA distribution transformers capacity was added.
Recently Completed Distribution Substations (SS) & Lines
Other projects were completed in the distribution sector. They include the 1x15MVA, 33/11kV Inj SS, Tambuwal, Sokoto State; 1x15MVA, 33/11kV, 1X7.5MVA Inj SS, Fegge, Anambra State; 1X7.5MVA, 33/11kV Inj SS, Potiskum, Yobe State; 1X15MVA, 33/11kV Inj SS, Gagi, Sokoto State; 1×7.5MVA, 33/11kV Inj SS. Otta, Ogun State; 1X15MVA, 33/11kV Inj SS, Angwan Dosa, Kaduna State; 2×7.5 MVA, 33/11kV Inj SS, Lamingo, Plateau State; 2X15MVA, 33/11KV Inj SS, Zaria Rd, Jos; Construction of 33kV line from Oke Aro TS to Mowe SS; 2x15MVA, 33/11kv Injection SS, Asaba, Delta State; 1×7.5 MVA, 33/11kV Injection SS, Saminaka, Kaduna State; 1X7.5kVMVA, 33/11kV Injection SS, Iloko, Osun State; 1X15MVA, 33/11kV Injection SS, Aminkanle, Lagos State; 1x15MVA, 33/11kv Injection SS, Abule Taylor, Lagos State; 1x15MVA, 33/11kv Injection SS, Elemoro, Lagos State; 1×7.5MVA, 33/11kv Injection SS, Bauchi, Bauchi State; 1x15MVA, 33/11kv Injection SS, Farfaru, Sokoto State; 1×7.5MVA, 33/11kv Injection SS, Water Works Gusua, Zamfara; 1×7.5MVA, 33/11kv Injection SS, Otowhodo, Delta State; 1×7.5MVA, 33/11kv Injection SS, Ibusa, Delta State.
Ongoing Projects
The Managing Director NDPHC has assured Nigerians that the new Ikot Abasi 330/132kv,3x150MVA substation would be completed in twelve months’ time. The Transmission sub- station, the largest in NDPHC projects, is being designed as a power evacuation facility for power generated by the Ibom Power station, Alscon Power station as well as the Qua Iboe power plant of ExxonMobil in Eket. The NDPHC had in 2016 constructed a 330/132kv switching station in Ikot Epkene, in Akwa Ibom state. NDPHC also constructed about six injection distribution substations of various capacity in Akwa Ibom state along with completely Self-Protected transformers (CSP).
Major work is ongoing at the 338 Megawatts capacity Egbema Power Plant in Imo State which is being built under the NIPP scheme. The completion date is by the end of 2018. The Okija distribution line will be completed in November. There is significant progress on Nnewi-Ihiala line, Ikot- Ekpene-Afam line, and Daura-Kazaure.
In February 2018, the NDPHC flagged off the construction of a 330 kilovolt (KV) transmission substation worth N5.49 billion in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital. When completed at the end of 2018, it will add about 300 megawatts (MW) of electricity capacity to Nasarawa state. The substation comprising 2 x 150MVA transformers and 2 x 60MVA transformers will get its power source from the Ikot Ekpene transmission switching station in Akwa Ibom state, passing through Ugwuaji in Enugu to Makurdi, and to Lafia before reaching Jos substation. The new substation will improve supply around Lafia that now depends on a 93 kilometre distribution line from Akwanga with low voltage. It will also serve as the third source for Abuja which depends on the transmission lines from Shiroro and Geregu Generation Companies (GenCos).
Also in February 2018, further driving the goal of sustainable power generation and transmission, 2 X 150, 330/132 KV and 2 X 60 MVA, 132/33KV Injection Sub-Station power transformer projects were also commenced in Akruba, Lafia, Nassarawa state. The substation will supply 15 units of 500kv distribution transformers. A 500kv transformer has the capacity of supplying power to about 1,000 households.
The Buhari administration has for three years been doing the right things, flexing its political muscles. The government’s launch of the N701 billion Naira Payment Assurance bond Programme was a creative intervention. The government has been intervening in the system to stabilise things, like the CBN’s 250bn fund.

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