PHCN's successor firms to enjoy autonomy, generate 6,000mw electricity in 2009, says minister
THE Federal Government has pledged to make Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor generation companies enjoy autonomy and resources, as part of measures to actualise the generation of 6,000mw of electricity by end of December.
The Minister of Power, Dr Lanre Babalola, told newsmen in Abuja yesterday, that the envisaged management and financial autonomy and control would also hold the companies accountable and responsible for sustaining their respective current actual generation capacity.
"I state categorically that we can achieve the 6,000mw target by 2009,'' Babalola said as he gave details on how the power sector would attain the target as well as information on the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP).
He stressed that the government would provide necessary support to existing IPPs including AES (288mw), Okpai (480mw), Afam VI (300mw) and Omoku (75mw), totaling 1,143mw for sustaining those capabilities.
Babalola disclosed that Kainji, Afam and Sapele generation successor companies under PHCN would be provided with adequate resources and authority to rehabilitate some identified units in their various plants.
The minister put the current actual generation capacity of the PHCN plants_at 3,955mw and the Independent Power Plants (IPPs) at 1,143mw, totaling 5,098mw.
According to him, the current installed capacity of PHCN plants is 7,150mw and current actual generation capability is 3,955 mw while the IPPs, which have the capacity for 1,155mw, currently generate 1,143mw.
Babalola said in this modified strategic plan, "the emphasis is to leverage more on the rehabilitation of the existing PHCN plants and to assist and work more closely with IPPs that are either completed or nearing completion.''
He said the transmission grid could wheel only about 3,500mw currently because of weak and ageing infrastructure, inadequate transmission and transformation capacity at 330KV and 132KV voltage level.
The minister also identified inadequate protection systems and inadequate control and communication system as other challenges.
Babalola said technical issues could be successfully addressed with adequate attention as provided for in the Power Emergency Programme (PEP) and the 2009 appropriation.
He listed major problems of the nation's distribution network to include ageing and obsolete switchgear and protection equipment, faulty lines and sub-stations, overloaded distribution transformers and inadequate network maintenance materials.