|Dr Mrs Joy Ogaji
The leadership of the Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC) has indicated that the operators have largely met their targets despite the challenges of the private sector operators three years ago.
The Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies, APGC, Dr Mrs Joy Ogaji disclosed this to Vanguard that most of the Generating Companies, GENCOs, have not only done well but have surpassed some of the targets.
At inception, the generating companies, GENCOs were contractually obligated to ramp up electricity generation capacity by about 5,000 megawatts (MW) over a five year period.
She stated: “Today, the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) confirms most of the GENCOs have exceeded their contractual obligations.”
According to her, Transcorp Power Limited, which at takeover date had generation average of 160mw, currently, generates about 530mw, while Egbin, according to her, at takeover in November 2013, had an average generation of below 300mw, but it is now generating an average of 1,100mw with gas availability, adding that with the completion of the remaining unit overhauls next year, Egbin will be operating at a minimum of 92 percent of its capacity.
For the Hydros, she said that the North-South Power, the concessionaire for Shiroro, at takeover had 450mw with some of the units not operating optimally, upon takeover, overhauled the units and now generates 600mw which was the installed capacity.
She said Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited has increased the combined Generating Capacity of Kainji and Jebba Power Plants from 582mw as at takeover to 922mw, with overhaul successfully carried out on one of the generating units at Jebba Plant.
She said, “These are just a few of the successes. We cited two thermal and two hydro plants for purposes of brevity.”
Ogaji, while reviewing the state of the generation units from three years ago when they were handed over to the GENCOs, said the maintenance culture which existed before the takeover was inclined towards a process of carrying out maintenance after breakdowns rather than scheduled preventive maintenance.
She noted that this trend, unfortunately, proved to be a costly alternative. “Consequently, operational costs were very high for the GENCOs,” she stated.
She emphasised that existing generation assets are largely old thereby requiring high operating and maintenance costs to keep them running. The strain on these assets is compounded by the fact that there has been limited new capacity added in the years before take over.
According to her, the existing transmission network is also inadequate, fragile and not reliable. She stressed that modernization of existing plants is necessary but will require significant capital investment, adding that some of the GENCOs have taken heavy loans to overhaul their plants, listing Egbin, Ughelli, Geregu 1, Shiroro, Mainstream, amongst the heavy borrowers.
Notwithstanding the daring challenges, she said, GENCOs have made tremendous progress, adding that they have been in positive pursuit of set goals.