FG to commission 8 new power plants – Fashola

…‘Additional 1,129mw expected in 2018’

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has said about 1,129 megawatts (mw) of electricity will be added to the national grid when eight power plants are commissioned in 2018.

Fashola, who stated this at the 22nd power sector meeting at Geregu Power Plc in Kogi State, yesterday, said there was need to evacuate the currently constrained 2,000mw before the new capacity comes to the grid.

He said 450mw is expected from Azura Power in Edo, 215mw from Kaduna plant, 40mw from Kashimbilla in Taraba and 29mw from Dadin Kowa in Gombe State.

Others are 30mw from Gurara in Kaduna, 10mw from Katsina wind power, 240mw from Afam III in Rivers and 115mw from Gbarain NIPP in Bayelsa State. “We cannot afford to keep all these power without selling them; that is not good for the business and for those who have invested in them,” Fashola noted.

He also said Nigeria attained the highest peak generation of 5,155mw last Friday, above the 5,074mw attained in February 2016 due to improvements in gas supply to GenCos with the Federal Government’s N701 billion Payment Assurance Guarantee (PAG) that enabled GenCos to promptly pay for gas and other services.

“When I visited in 2016, only one turbine was running in each of Geregu I and II plants because there was no gas in all six turbines. Today, all the three turbines in each are running because there is now some gas,” the minister said.

Fashola, however noted that despite the 7,000mw generation and transmission capacities, 2,000mw of electricity is still constrained due to inadequate demand for electricity by the Distribution Companies (DisCos).

“That is the problem now; from no power, to more power that we can’t sell. We have made progress in generation and transmission and now we can move our capacity to distribution so that we can address it,” he also stated.

In his address, the Managing Director of Geregu Power, Mr Adeyemi Adenuga, said the firm had invested over $94 billion to improve its plant since privatisation in 2013.