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Power: TCN To Sign Agreement On 265MW Spinning Reserves


Sopuruchi Onwuka


Following incessant attacks on gas pipeline and recent grid instability as experienced by millions of power consumers nationwide, the management of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) are currently working on a contractual agreement by which NIPP plants would provide about 265MW of Spinning Reserves.

The reason for the agreement, according to the General Manager, Communication and Public Relations (NDPHC), Mr. Yakubu Lawal, is to facilitate grid responsiveness during swings and disturbances on the transmission network.

In statement issued on Wednesday on the relevance of the NIPPs, after 10 years of conception, Mr. Lawal stated that the provision of spinning reserve and other ancillary services are being practiced all over the world and Nigeria now largely relies on NIPP plants to provide the service.

According to the statement contrary to allegation of non-relevance, the NIPP is definitely not a failed project.

The NPDHC has over 2,000MW of generation capacity readily available for deployment as soon as vandalized gas processing projects are completed by the associated nominated gas suppliers thus presenting the best opportunity for the rapid improvement of power supply.

“In the area of power generation, eight 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 2000MW of energy daily.

While it is a fact that power generation is often disrupted by acts of vandalism on gas pipelines and transmission lines, the NDPHC does not offer such incidences as excuses.

“The NDPHC has continued to operate these power plants in the interest of the Nigerian economy, despite undesirable security challenges and an accumulated debt of over N94bn owed it by the electricity market, that’s definitely more than a tangible contribution to the nation’s supply of electricity,” he stated.

He stated further that many of the NIPP power plants on the national grid also provide ancillary services in support of system operations, a contribution critical for stabilizing the national grid.

“It is noteworthy that the System Operator heavily depends on the NIPP Plants for the provision of these critical services.

Completed power plants include 750MW Olorunsogo II, 450MW Sapele, 434MW Geregu II, 450MW Omotosho II, 450MW Ihovbor, 450MW Alaoji, 563MW Calabar and 225MW Gbarain.

Recently completed ones include 225MW Omoku, 338MW Egbema and 530mw 2nd Phase Alaoji.

“The NDPHC assets are truly the backbone of the nation’s power infrastructure. The completed power plants have been operated with private sector orientation and supported by Long Term Service Agreements (LTSA) in line with international best practice.

Under condition of transmission and gas challenge, the profitability of the plants is constrained but these are short term developmental challenges which the NDPHC is working to mitigate by divestment to the private sector either as privatized entities or under practical Operations and Maintenance (O&M) contracts.

“Despite the inability of some IOCs to deliver gas to NIPP plants on schedule, the management has been proactive in securing alternative gas from Accugas Ltd which clearly is outside the aggregation framework,” he said.

He said projects upgrade may have been responsible for low shedding in some areas that fall under Eko zone.

“The current blackout being experienced in the EKO area of Lagos is to grant NIPP outage to connect completed projects at both 330kV and 132kV levels at Alagbon and Lekki NIPP 330MVA Substations which in a few weeks would significantly improve power supply to Lagos axis.

Similar projects are being primed for commissioning to facilitate power evacuation from NIPP’s Calabar and Alaoji Power Plants to the SS, SE and NW of the country, amongst many other beneficiary states.

The design basis of some of the transmission projects include significant closing radial lines to form loops thereby providing the required flexibility and redundancies to a better management of the national grid-these are things worthy of informing the public,” he stated.

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