Nigeria’s power generation sub-sector is experiencing investment constraints following inability of distribution companies to take load as well as transmission inadequacies.
Managing director of Ibom Power, Engr Meyen Etukudo, told energy journalists during an interview in Uyo that the firm is consolidating on its existing investment and also targeting construction of a 500 Mega Watts(MW) power plant in addition to its current 190MW.
LEADERSHIP reports that Ibom Power acquired its licence for 685MW which has been renewed till 2028.
He, however, said the GenCo like others, is facing enormous challenges following the inability of its host DisCo to take the quantum of power it generates.
‘‘For instance, if I generate 100MW of electricity and the DisCo is only able to take 60MW, I send the remaining 40MW to the grid at the National Control Centre in Osogbo, Osun State. But if the Disco can take everything I generate, there is no point sending it to the grid,” he said.
He lamented that the inability of the host DisCo and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to invest in infrastructure upgrade was a major setback to the state, saying, the Akwa Ibom state government has however taken up the responsibility of TCN by building 132/33KVA and 260MVA at Ikam which he said vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, commissioned in 2020.
He said this is a giant leap that was not been recorded anywhere in the country, saying the Akwa State Ibom government is the first to record such feat.
He said governor Emmanuel Udom, took the decision not to wait for the Federal Government through TCN to invest in the project because it would go a long way is solving the power supply challenges confronting industries in the state.
He said the gesture by the State Government was also to ensure that the schools and hospitals also enjoy uninterrupted power supply, saying it remained regrettable that the State Government was doing all this alone without help from anywhere.
If the governor had all the powers, he said, he would have done far more to transform the electricity sector in the country.
Etukudo added the 40 per cent stake of the Federal Government in the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company has prevented him from making the desired investment in that regard.
Akwa Ibom, he said is blessed not to have had gas challenges, saying, the gas pipeline layed to Ibom Power is enough to take about 400 million standard cubic feet of gas (scuf) which is enough to take care of the phase two of the 500MW power plant.
On debt, he pointed out that the power plant since 2016 when he came on board has not been able to receive 30 per cent of its invoice to Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader(NBET).
NBET indebtedness to Ibom Power runs into billions of Naira, he disclosed, adding that if it invoice N1 billion, it only gets about N300 million payment but since last year there has been improvement in the payment system.