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Electricity Generation (Electricity Supply and the National Electric Power Authority, NEPA) (Reviewed, 6th Aug. 2001) Tell your friends about this page! Email it to them.

NEPA's office in Lagos. NEPA will be broken down to smaller parts and privatised under the ongoing privatisation process.Nigeria's Public Electricity Generating company, National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) was created by government Decree No. 24 of 1972, from the merger of the previous Electricity Corporation of Nigeria, ( ECN) and Niger Dams Authority (NDA). That Decree gave NEPA the mandate to "maintain, co-ordinate an efficient and economic system of electricity supply for all part of the federation". However from this year, it ceased to exist and has now been renamed Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, with 18 business units.

"The Obasanjo administration has set its target to 4,000 megawatts by the end of this year."

The country has a total installed power generating capacity of 4,000 mw, derived from both hydro and thermal power plants. But actual power generation is often much less, typically between 1,500 to 2,500 mw, current actual output in a mere 1,400 mw, at least, 1,000 mw short of the actual demand in the country put at 2,400 mw. This is the recorded peak demand.

NEPA Power Generating Plants

NEPA has 8 electricity generating stations throughout the country. They are: 

  • 1320 mw - Lagos thermal power station, Egbin, 1987 
  • 60 mw - Ijora thermal power station, Ijora, Lagos 1956 
  • 720 mw Ogorode thermal power station, Sapele, Delta State 1978. 
  • Afam thermal power station, Afam 
  • 760 mw - Kainji hydropower station, Kainji, Niger State 1968. 
  • 540 mw - Jebba hydropower station, Jebba, 1985 
  • 600 mw - Jebba hydropower station, Shiroro, Minna, Niger State 1990 
  • 600mw Delta V1 thermal power station Ughelli, Delta State 1991.

President Obasanjo Administration's Strategy on Reviving The Power Sector

The Obasanjo administration has set its target to 4,000 megawatts by the end of this year. Quite an ambitious target. The strategy is the rehabilitation of most of the ailing power generation plants across the country and the replacement and refurbishment of transmission lines and transformers. The rehabilitation of power plants across the country is on course. Contracts for the rehabilitation of most of these plants were initiated by Obasanjo's predecessor, General Abdulsalami Abubakar in 1998, prior to Nigeria's hosting of the Junior World soccer championship in March 1999. The $5 million contract for refurbishment of Egbin was awarded to Marubeni Corporation of Japan, involving 3 units of the 1320 mw Egbin Power Station in the South western part the country. Two of these units ST4 and ST6 had been out of service since 1992.

The rehabilitation is expected to be completed in 18 months. Once completed, it should add 400 mw to the current national power supply of about 1,400 mw. At the signing ceremony at NEPA headquarters, Abuja July 2000, chairman of NEPA technical board, Senator Liyel Imoke and Marubeni Managing Director, T.Sato. represented the two parties. The contract is part of the Egbin plant rehabilitation to which the Nigerian Government had committed N7.5 billion. it is expected that the rehab of the three gas turbines at the 1320 mw Egbin plant would restore 660 mw of power to the depleted national grid supply. In October 2000, a large consignment of imported power generation and distribution transformers was delivered to NEPA. These are part of the orders made by the Nigerian government last January to boost power supply in the country. the power transformers, according to NEPA sources, are of 60 mw, 30 mw, 15 mw, and 2.5 mw while the distribution transformers are of 33/11 KVA, 415/11 KVA, 500KVA and 300 KVA ratings. Other imported items include circuit breakers, and high-tension cables.

Herein lies the attraction for would-be foreign investors who may be able to seize the opportunity of a currently near-prostrate power sector to move into the Nigerian power generating market. Since the Lagos state government entered into an agreement with ENRON Corp of America to build a gas powered generating station, some of the other 35 states of the country are also at various stages of talks with many foreign energy companies to build power stations. The Lagos state/Enron deal, coming into operation around March 2001 would certainly put an end to NEPA's monopoly. Constant and uninterrupted power supply would most likely come to the shores of Nigeria from the last part of this year, if these various projects succeed.

The Lagos State/Enron Power project has now been completed. It is now producing 60 megawatts of electricity to the national grid.

According to NEPA's principal manager, expenditure, Lekan Olagunju, all the materials, coming mostly from Europe and South Africa have been manufactured to suit Nigeria's situation and climate. The premier hydro power plant at Kainji has also been under going rehabilitation since February. The Kainji rehabilitation is being handled by Asea Brown Boveri, ABB. This would involve the complete dismantling of the eight units of the power plant. Work started on four of their plants earlier in the year. However, by March complaints by ABB over procuring suitable cranes for lifting the plant's massive rotating motors stalled work for several weeks. Work has since resumed.

Current Power Generation

Since June last year power output has fallen as a result of the onset of the dry season, which affected water levels at the three-hydropower stations - Kainji, Shiroro and Jebba. Thus, power output dropped from almost 2,000 mws in May to 1,500 mw in June. The low water level had also forced the shut down of three units at the premier hydro-plant, Kainji.

Editor's Note: NEPA is now known as Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN from 2005. This piece will be updated Shortly.

Power Sector Website

Picture: NEPA office in Lagos. To be broken down into smaller parts and sold under the ongoing privatisation process.

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